Palakkad: In another incident of elephant death in Kerala, a wild elephant has been found dead in the paddy fields at Kottekkad in Palakkad district, a northern region in the state after the death of a pregnant elephant by eating pineapple stuffed with firecrackers in the same district months before, an incident that triggered widescale political controversy across the nation. The elephant has been reportedly electrocuted to death. The actual reason behind the death of the elephant will be known after conducting a postmortem. The incidents of wild elephants’ deaths in the people inhibited area repeat in Kerala recently.
In March in the year, in a tragic incident reported from Kerala in Palakkad district, a pregnant elephant had lost its life after eating pineapple loaded with firecrackers. The incident triggered political controversies with communal colour when Union Minister Menaka Gandhi made a remark over the incident claiming Malappuram as India’s the most ‘ disturbed district’. It had been alleged that a planned political effort was made to connect the elephant’s death to Malappuram district, a Muslim majority district in Kerala thereby attempting to give a communal tinge to the incident. As per records based on initial reports, the incident reportedly took place in Malappuram district in Kerala. Later the forest department clarified that the incident took place in Mannarkkad region in Palakkad district in Kerala nearby Silent Vally reserve forest at TamilNadu border of Kerala. The state Chief Wildlife Warden informed that the incident took place in Maannarkkad region in Palakkad in Kerala and not in neighbouring district Malappuram in the state. A case had been filed against the culprits responsible over the death of the pregnant elephant on May 27 and the probe had been conducted.
The incident flared up wide political controversies with communal colour across the nation. Deploring the incident, politicians and other celebs across the nation demanded strict action against those who had done cruelty to the animal.
The elephant had consumed pineapple stuffed with firecrackers and the resulted blast caused grievous injuries in the animal’s mouth. The elephant could not eat thereafter and the animal entered into the river and stood there with its mouth open to the water probably out of severe pain. A week later the elephant succumbed to the injuries. A post mortem conducted on the elephant revealed that the animal was pregnant.
Union Minister Menaka Gandhi in an interview to a news agency said, ‘Malappuram is the ‘worst and most violent’ district in India’. She alleged that women and animals are repeatedly killed in the district and that is the hub of communal conflicts. In her tweet, Menaka Gandhi said Malappuram district in Kerala is in the forefront over the rate of crime and communal conflicts. She tweeted, ”They have killed so many women…they create Hindu-Muslim tensions, chop off people’s arms. The situation in Malappuram is very scary”. She flayed that the government in Kerala is ”scared of Malappuram and ”weakest people in the administration are sent to Malappuram”. The Sangh Parivar organisations provided support for the minister while remark fueled up a widescale protest on social media against the minister.
Menaka Gandhi’s communal inciting remark about Keralites residing in Malappuram triggered political parties to file complaints against the minister, Indian MuslimLeague (IUML), and Youth Congress and Democratic Youth Federation of India filed a complaint against her.
Youth League leader Abbas Vadakkan mailed Maneka Gandhi after her communal inciting remark about the residents in Malappuram district in Kerala over the elephant’s death that sparked protest across the nation. He wrote her about the secular heritage of the district and the contribution of Malappuram residents in India’s freedom struggle. He invited the minister to visit Malappuram so that her image of the region would be changed.
After the Karipur Plane crash, in which AIE flight from Dubai with 190 passengers on board skidded off the runway and fell down to gorge claiming 18 lives including the pilot and co-pilot and left 100 injured, Menaka Gandhi praised the residents in Kerala in Malappuram district for their selfless and risky rescue operations during the plane crash. On responding to an e-mail sent by Muslim Youth League leader Abbas Vadakkan asking her if she still has the same opinion about the residents in Malappuram, the senior BJP leader and Union minister said, ”A wonderful job was done by the people of Malappuram to help the plane crash survivors. I hope this kind of humanity towards all beings takes place.”
The Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri who visited the Plane crash spot in Karipur appreciated the residents in Karipur in Malappuram district in Kerala for their timely rescue operations that saved many lives. The union minister tweeted, “I salute the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood shown by the people of Malappuram who took great personal risks in providing immediate relief & help to the victims. This has helped in averting a greater tragedy,” The union minister said that the death rate would have been much higher if the residents in Malappuram would not have rushed to the spot on time.
Despite the COVID fear, the people in Karipur, a containment zone in Malappuram district in Kerala had rushed for rescue operations despite having the knowledge that the victims are COVID infected. The airline in a tweet expressing gratitude said ”Taking a bow to humanity and we owe you a lot”.