Kerala: Deplorable Elephant Parade Again, Police Allegedly Keep Mum
In the latest incident, an elephant in Kerala ran amok during a local temple festival in Kollam, and animal rights activists blamed the organisers for violating district collector’s order, reports Deccan Chronicle. V.K. Venkitachalam who heads the Thrissur-based Heritage Animal Task Force has filed a complaint with the Union environment, forest and climate change ministry. He alleged that the police kept mum when the elephant was tortured by beating, pulling his tail, and pelting stones. “As per rules, police officials have to take control of the area where a dangerous wild animal like elephant ran amok. But they did nothing to control people,” he said.
“The district elephant monitoring committee meeting should be convened before conducting parades as per a Supreme Court directive,” said V.K. Venkitachalam. He alleged that the organisers had not sought permission from the authorities. He added that the elephant got severe injuries at sensitive parts and the police did nothing to save the elephant.
Last week, Deccan Chronicle reported the killing of 20 captive elephants in Kerala. According to the report, 18 of the 20 elephants belong to the age of below 50, 11 are below 40 and seven are below 30. All the incidents happened in an around temple festivals. Last year, 26 elephants reportedly killed in the state.
State with the highest number of captive elephants
According to Hindu mythology, elephants are revered as the embodiments of Lord Ganesha. But the festival season seems the cruellest month for them.
The state exhibits elephants during festivals, especially during Thrissur Pooram, exposing them to loud fireworks and making them stand on the hot tar road. The famous Guruvayur temple has more than 60 elephants. World’s only Elephant Palace is constructed at Punnathur Kotta. Elephants carry the deity during temple festivals. People and temples own more around 700 elephants, and they are rented out for more than 10,000 festivals and processions.
Despite the staggering number of death of elephants and atrocities against them, the authorities have turned a blind eye, and as per the reports, the erring mahouts continue crucifying them.