Elephant killing: ‘Focus on 3 suspects, probe on’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that an investigation is under way with focus on three suspects in the incident of killing of the pregnant elephant in Palakkad.
In a series of tweets, the Kerala chief minister said, “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.”
“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,” Vijayan tweeted.

He said, “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 and 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,” he said in another tweet.
“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; every time, everywhere,” the chief minister said.
The forest department also said that significant headway has been made in the investigation into the recent death of the elephant.
“In the offence registered as per the sections of WL (P)A for hunting the elephant, several suspects are being interrogated. SIT formed for the purpose is making a significant headway in this regard. Forest Dept will leave no stone unturned to ensure max punishment to the offenders,” the Department said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the Centre took serious note of the incident and has sought a report from the state.
Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said the Centre has sought a complete report and assured stern action will be taken against the culprits involved.
“We have sought a complete report on the incident. Stern action will be taken against the culprits,” he had said.

In a tweet on Thursday, the minister condemned the incident, saying “This is not an Indian culture to feed fire crackers and kill.”
The elephant had died on May 27 after she ate the pineapple stuffed with crackers and forest officials said that it died standing in river Velliyar after it suffered an injury in its lower jaw.
The elephant was seen standing in the river with her mouth and trunk in the water for some relief from the pain after the explosive-filled fruit exploded in her mouth.
Watch Kerala pregnant elephant killing: Preliminary post-mortem reports out

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