Elephant death: Kerala CM breaks his silence, orders probe

Kerala elephant death
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Palakkad, Kerala, June 4, 2020: Finally, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered probe into the death of a pregnant elephant yesterday. “In a tragic incident in Palakkad dist, a pregnant elephant has lost its life. Many of you have reached out to us. We want to assure you that your concerns will not go in vain. Justice will prevail”, he tweeted.

“An investigation is underway, focusing on three suspects. The police and forest departments will jointly investigate the incident. The district police chief and the district forest officer visited the site today. We will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice. We will also try to address the causes behind the increased incidences of Human-wildlife conflict. Climate change could be adversely affecting both the local communities & animals.

Having said that, we are saddened by the fact some have used this tragedy to unleash a hate campaign. Lies built upon inaccurate descriptions and half truths were employed to obliterate the truth. Some even tried to import bigotry into the narrative. Wrong priorities.

Kerala is a society that respects the outrage against injustice. If there is any silver lining in this, it is that we now know that we can make our voices heard against injustice. Let us be that people who fight injustice in all its forms; everytime, everywhere”, the CM further added in his tweets.

Central government asked for report: The Central Government has also taken cognizance of this incident. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has sought a detailed report in this matter from the Kerala government. After which the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan ordered an inquiry into the death of the elephant. He assured strict action against the culprits. The elephant suffered injuries to her mouth and stomach due to consuming firecrackers and died three days later.

What was the whole matter?
A pregnant elephant wandered away from the forest of Silent Valley National Park to the nearby village on 25 May in search of food. Being pregnant, she needed to eat for her child, at the same time some people had put pineapple stuffed with firecrackers/explosives, which is used to snare wild boars which destroy crops in the fields. On eating, there was an explosion in her mouth, due to which her jaw was severed and teeth were also broken. When the elephant, suffering from pain, could not understand anything, she stood in the Veliyar river. To ease her pain, she just kept drinking water the whole time. Her pain was so much that she stood for three days with a trunk in the river. After all, she lost the battle of life and died.

According to the officials of the Kerala forest department, she was about 15 years old and two months pregnant. The officials had tried to rescue her but she did not come out of the river and stood there. She succumbed to the injuries on the evening of May 27. The incident came to light when a forest officer wrote an emotional note on Facebook on May 30, which went viral.