Mohanlal has reportedly got special permission from Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to keep the pair of elephant tusks found from his home during an income tax raid in 2011.
Ever since the news appeared in The New Indian Express on Sunday, many on social media and some media reports have been alleging that the decision by the ministry was probably a gift for Mohanlal, for writing a blog indirectly supporting the BJP on the JNU row.
The MoEF has allowed the actor to make a declaration to the state government/chief wildlife warden, following which the possession of tusks would become legitimate.
TNIE reports that the actor had written to MoEF requesting relaxation of the law, which prohibits possession of contraband wildlife products.
Meanwhile, social media has been abuzz with people criticising Mohanlal for his eagerness to keep the tusks, while he passionately talked about the nation in his blog. The actor has been pilloried in the context of Leonardo DiCaprioâ€™s Oscar award function speech, in which the latter spoke about conservation of nature and environmental protection.
â€śDear actor, who got permission to keep elephant tusks, Did you hear the speech of another actor who got Oscar today. Environment, tribals, capital encroachments, betrayed human beings, responsibility to coming generation â€¦
I did not understand that elephantsâ€™ tusks are kept at home to relish the memory of human-nature relationshipâ€ť a social media activist Somy Solomon wrote on her wall.
Earlier, left organisations alleged that Mohanlal wrote the blog as part of a BJP propaganda.
It is not clear how Mohanlal came to possess those tusks. He had earlier said that the tusks were registered in his friendâ€™s name.
The tusks were recovered by the income tax department from the actorâ€™s residence in Thevara, Kochi in July 2011. Later, the tusks were given to the Wildlife department.