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Elephant kills former UP minister

April 28, 2003 12:15 IST

A former minister of Uttar Pradesh was killed by his own elephant in Paharpur village, Ambedkar Nagar district, on Sunday afternoon.

Ram Lakhan Verma was the forest minister in Mayawati's first Cabinet in 1995. He later defected from the Bahujan Samaj Party to the Samajwadi Party.

Apart from the pachyderm, there were horses, pedigreed dogs and deer in his bungalow.

"The elephant had gone out of control of the mahout. When Verma tried to intervene, the elephant trampled him," according to the police.

"After the villagers tried to gun down the elephant, we called the PAC [Provincial Armed Constabulary]," Superintendent of Police K N Kureel told rediff.com

PAC jawans then shot dead the animal, he added.

"We could not have afforded loss of any more human lives, so we had no choice but to shoot the elephant," said A K Jain, Inspector General of Police, Lucknow zone.

However, the Director of the Lucknow Zoo, Eva Sharma, said there was no need to kill the elephant, which could have been controlled by wildlife experts.

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow