New Delhi: Even after correction by the media that the incident of a pregnant elephant dying after swallowing a fire cracker happened in Palakkad district, and not Malappuram as was erroneously reported earlier by a TV channel, former union minister Maneka Gandhi and central minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar came out to put the entire Malappuram district in bad light.
Meanwhile, strong protests started being aired in social media against BJP's national leaders spreading untrue information, but the carrier of the original misinformation, NDTV came out with an apology and correction by the reporter.
The response from Prakash Javadekar on the elephant's death was prompt to harp on the district and he said that feeding crackers is not Indian culture. He added that the murder of elephant in Malappuram was viewed seriously by the Centre which would exert all pressure for catching the culprit.
It all began with a Facebook post to the effect that an elephant was killed by feeding it with cracker-stuffed pineapple and the NDTV reporter lost no time in picking it up for making a story. After two days of controversy, she retracted the story with an apology on Thursday.
What came to be discussed extensively at the national level was the report originally carried on Tuesday, without verifying the facts with the Forest officials including the Facebook post on the incident by Forest Office Mohan Krishnan. The Forest officials also clarified that no onen would feed an elephant with pineapple, and the animal would have seen it and tried to eat it. It is customary to use pineapple filled with cracker as a snare to catch wild boars that destroy the crops.
The sangh parivar social media circles gave wide publicity to the incident as if it had happened in Malappuram – and anything happening in Malappuam is anathema to the parivar. It took precious two days for the NDTV reporter to correct the story and clarify that the incident had happened in Silent Valley in Palakkad district.