It is not in Indian culture to feed firecrackers and kill, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday while taking serious note of the death of a pregnant wild elephant in Kerala after she was fed firecrackers-filled pineapple.
Tweeting about the incident that has taken social media by the storm, Javadekar said the government will not leave any stone unturned to bring the culprit to book.
"Central Government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Mallapuram, #Kerala. We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate properly and nab the culprit(s). This is not an Indian culture to feed fire crackers and kill (sic),” he said in a tweet.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Javadekar had promised a stern action against those responsible for cruelly killing the pregnant wild elephant in Kerala.
Issuing a statement here, Javadekar had said, “Environment Ministry has taken a serious note of the death of an elephant in Kerala. Has sought complete report on the incident. Stern action will be taken against the culprit(s).”
The elephant succumbed to an act of human cruelty after a pineapple filled with powerful crackers offered allegedly by locals exploded in her mouth.
The elephant died at Velliyar River on May 27.
According to sources, the post-mortem report revealed that the elephant was pregnant and her jaw was broken.
She was unable to eat after she chewed the pineapple and it exploded in her mouth, sources said.
Meanwhile, the Kerala forest department on Thursday said that significant headway has been made in the investigation into the recent gory death of a pregnant wild elephant.
A special investigation team set up for probing the death of the elephant, which drew widespread condemnation, was questioning several suspects, it said.
The elephant had consumed a pineapple filled with powerful fire crackers which exploded in the animal's mouth in the Silent Valley Forest and it died about a week later on May 27.
The forest department also said it would leave no stone unturned to ensure maximum punishment to the culprits.
"In the offence registered as per the sections of WL P)A for hunting the elephant, several suspects are being interrogated. SIT formed for the purpose is making a significant headway in this regard. Forest Dept will leave no
stone unturned to ensure max punishment to the offenders," the separtment said in a tweet.
However, it also said there was no conclusive evidence that injury to the animal's lower jaw was caused by pineapple stuffed with cracker and this might be a possibility.
"There's no conclusive evidence that injury to lower jaw was caused by pineapple stuffed wd cracker. However this may be a possibility. Dept. has booked offence against unknown offenders, whose identity is being established," another tweet said.
As the incident triggered an outrage, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said a wildlife crime investigation team from Kozhikode has been dispatched to the place of the incident in Mannarkad Forest division in Palakkad district.
The elephant died at Velliyar River on May 27 after efforts by forest personnel to bring it to the river bank using two other trained elephants failed.
"Her jaw was broken and she was unable to eat after she chewed the pineapple and it exploded in her mouth," a senior forest official had said earlier.
The post-mortem revealed that the pachyderm was pregnant.
Voicing concern over the incident, Bollywood celebrities including Anushka Sharma, Shraddha Kapoor, Randeep Hooda demanded strict action against animal cruelty.
The pachyderm's tragic end in the Silent Valley forest came to light after Mohan Krishnan, a forest officer, posted an emotional note on his Facebook page, narrating it.
"When we saw her she was standing in the river, with her head dipped in the water. She had a sixth sense that she was going to die. She took the Jalasamadhi in the river in a standing position," Krishnan, who was deputed to bring the elephant back to the shore, wrote.
He had also posted the photos of the elephant standing in the river water.