Kerala elephant death: SIT to probe killing, 1 person detained
The Kerala police has formed a special investigation team to probe the death of a pregnant elephant in the Palakkad forest range. Deputy Superintendent of Police of Mannarkad will lead the probe, along with officials from the forest department and the probe will be supervised by the district Superintendent of Police G Siva Vikram IPS.
Meanwhile, the elephant’s post mortem report says that animal had died because of a soft explosion, investigating officers from Palakkad told TNM.
The post mortem report, which TNM accessed, states that the cause of death was due to lung failure as the result of water filling the lungs drowning. As per the report, the elephant's mouth and oral cavity had suffered from extensive wounds most likely caused by an explosive blast, which had resulted in a septic infection. This led to her being unable to drink water or eat food for two weeks and caused her to become severely malnourished.
Following the report, a First Information Report has been registered in the Mannarkad Police station under various sections of the Explosives Act, 1884 and the Prevention of cruelty to animals act, 1960.
Blast happened two weeks ago
According to officials that TNM spoke to, the elephant is likely to have been injured anytime between May 13 and 20 - at least two weeks before it's post mortem. The elephant was found in the Velliyar river on May 25. The river the originates in Palakkad, flows to Malappuram. The elephant was found at a place called Kottopadam in Palakkad.
“On May 13, the elephant was allegedly spotted at the Silent Valley reserve and had already been injured, but officials could not restrain it as the elephant was moving. From May 23, it was spotted near Ambalapara in Palakkad and on May 25, it entered the river where it finally passed away,” a source in the police department said.
The source added that this timeline makes it harder for the forest department to identify and round up the accused. Moreover, the forest ranges between Palakkad and Malappuram, where the elephant was found dead is filled with massive estates where setting up explosive snares to kill wild boars is a common practice, sources say. d on preliminary investigations, the Forest Department had detained three persons from the vicinity. Of this, two people were let off and one person has been detained fot further questioning.
"The police department may take over the interrogation. We will find more suspects. The person currently in custody has connections to one estate in the region," a police source said.