The death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala aroused a storm among the public all over the country. Last month, the elephant trespassed into a village, named Palakkad, situated near the Silent Valley National Park, and consumed a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers. The pineapple exploded inside her mouth. In order to seek relief from her irresistible pain, she went into a nearby river. The elephant finally died on the 27th of May by standing in the river. The officials, seeing her shrunken state, guessed that she might have suffered the injury of about 20 days ago and had starved since then.
Villagers who reside near the forest areas in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, often use firecrackers or explosives stuffed in foods (known as panni padakam or pig crackers) in order to hunt wild boars for their meat and also in cases where they need to protect their fields from wild animals. The pregnant elephant in the case happened to consume one of such explosives stuffed in the pineapple. However, this terrifying act of the villagers, being illegal, had been seriously condemned by the state government.
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But what comes into concern is that this entire brutal story had been turned upside down by some of the renowned media outlets (NDTV, Hindustan Times, Times Now, India Tv, The Economic Times, India Today, Republic, News Nation, and ANI). At first reports from these media, houses claimed that the incident took place in Malappuram, while it actually took place Palakkad.
Malappuram, being a Muslim-majority district, turned the whole to an anti-Muslim case, and the elephant being an “Avatar” of the Hindu Deity Lord Ganesha, raged anger among the Hindus against the Muslims. The second thing that comes in the false reports is the alteration in a phrase. Soon after the incident happened, on 2nd June, NDTV’s reporter read “Pregnant Elephant Fed Pineapple Stuffed with Crackers in Kerala. She Died Standing In River”. As soon as the controversies started to begin they changed the phrase into “Pregnant Elephant Ate Pineapple Stuffed with Crackers in Kerala. She Died Standing In River”. These incorrect information’s’ put out by the media channels made people believe that the pregnant elephant was intentionally killed when the case was actually something else.
However, the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, tweeted yesterday, “Justice will prevail” and the state’s action proved his word. Today, the State Forest Minister, Shri. K Raju said that a man named P Wilson, in his 40s, a rubber tapper, who was involved in this ruthless act, has been arrested. Other suspects are yet to get arrested and the search is on.