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Outfit demands high level probe into elephant torture

Outfit demands high level probe into elephant torture

Thiruvananthapuram: Animal rights group Heritage Animal Task Force has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the alleged torture and death of captive jumbos by festival organisers in Kerala.

The Thrissur-based outfit sent a letter to the Prime Minister, who is also the Chairman of the National Board for Wildlife, requesting a high level inquiry into the issue.

"During 2015, a total of 11 captive elephants died due to torture and neglect near festival places in the state," the outfit alleged in the letter.

As many as 383 elephants had so far been ran amok in 3057 incidents in 14 districts of Kerala during the period, the letter, released to media, said.

"A total of 14 persons had been killed by the captive elephants last year in the state. Of these, 9 were mahouts and others include a veterinarian, an elephant owner, a car driver, a vegetable vendor and an ex-service man," the letter said.

However, the Kerala government had not initiated any comprehensive inquiry into these incidents, it said.

A high level inquiry should be conducted into these kinds of deaths of elephants and human beings, it said, adding the festival organisers, which rule the festival places by parading musth effected jumbos, were responsible for such casualties.

"The Kerala Government remain as a mute spectator even after the Supreme Court had ordered for strict implementation of Elephant Parade Rules with effect from 18th August 2015," it said.

Though, the state government had constituted a six member committee to inquire into killing of the veterinarian in Pathanamthitta district by a captive jumbo, the panel had failed to convene any further meeting except in the initial ones, the letter added.

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