Kerala elephant death: Congress demands apology from Maneka Gandhi for comments against Malappuram district

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Kerala Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday slammed BJP leader Maneka Gandhi for her controversial comment against Malappuram district on the issue of a pregnant elephant's death and demanded an apology.

 

Chennithala demanded that the former Union Minister to withdraw her statement and apologise for making such a false statement.

"Your irresponsible statement has given space for airing hate speeches abusing a district and its people. Withdraw and apologise for your statement portraying this district as a centre of crime," the Congress leader stated in the letter.

He also accused the BJP of politicising the issue.

 "Please note that the death of the elephant happened in Palakkad district. Some of your party colleagues have even gone to the extent of fabricating news that the unfortunate incident has happened in Wayanad, the constituency represented by Rahul Gandhi. These kinds of attempts to politicise such an unfortunate incident are itself tragic and will not find any support from the enlightened society of Kerala”, he said.

Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi had said, Mallapuram is known for its intense criminal activity specially with regards to animals. No action has ever been taken against a single poacher or wildlife killer so they keep doing it.

“Every week an elephant dies of beating in Kerala. They should sack the Chief Wildlife Warden. They should arrest everyone they suspect in Malappuram because they are repeat offenders,” she had said.

However, the incident took place in Mannarkkad in Palakkad district and not in Malappuram and Wayanad district.

K Raju, the Minister of Forests, Wildlife Protection, Animal Husbandry in the state, had clarified and assured that strict action will be taken against the offenders.

“Strict action will be taken against culprits responsible for killing a pregnant elephant. I want to clarify that it happened in Palakkad not in Malappuram. Regarding, the remark of Maneka Gandhi, I don't want to comment at this juncture”, K Raju, Kerala Forest Minister had said.

The elephant had died on May 27 after she ate the pineapple stuffed with crackers, allegedly placed by some locals.

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.

The death of the elephant and the trauma she went through has caused a huge outrage, with calls for strong action against the culprits.

According to reports, the Kerala Forest Department has launched a 'manhunt' for those responsible for this inhumane activity. 

 

With inputs from Agency

Image credit: Daily Hunt

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