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Pregnant Elephant Death: Police Arrests One Person in Connection with the Incident

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

Kerala forest minister K Raju said that one person has been arrested in connection with the unfortunate incident in which a pregnant wild elephant suffered a painful death after consuming a fruit laced with explosives. 

The minister said more arrests will be made by the evening. The Police and Forest department are carrying out an active investigation. 

Forest department said three suspects were questioned and a search was on for two more people in connection with the case. 

The arrested man is reportedly employed in a nearby farm that cultivates cash crops and spices. The elephant was spotted near the farm before its death. 

Earlier this week, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said justice would prevail and that the investigation is underway and is focusing on three suspects.  

Personnel of Kerala police and the forest department's Crime Investigation Team, probing the incident assured that all concerns raised will not go in vain and that justice will prevail. 

The pregnant elephant strayed into a village near Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad last month and had eaten pineapple with firecrackers stuffed in it. It exploded in the elephant's mouth. The animal walked for some time in agony before it went into a river and died standing on May 27. 

Villagers in Kerala often use firecrackers or explosives stuffed in food to protect their fields from wild animals like boar. The horrific practice has been widely denounced. 

The killing of the 15-year-old elephant had triggered countrywide protests as Bollywood actors, business icons and sports persons joined to condemn the action. 

Many including, former Union minister Maneka Gandhi, alleged that the incident took place in Muslim-majority Malappuram district. Her comment was not credible according to many sources and has triggered widespread rebuke in Kerala. 

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