Death of Elephant in Kerala: Maneka Targets Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi for Inaction; CM Promises Action

A day after a pregnant wild elephant died after eating a pineapple filled with crackers in Kerala's Malappuram, BJP leader and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as she questioned his silence over the issue.

The pachyderm in Kerala's Silent Valley Forest fell victim to an act of human cruelty after the pineapple offered by a man exploded in her mouth when she chomped on it, a senior forest officer said. Her jaw was broken and she was unable to eat after she chewed the pineapple and it exploded in her mouth.

Officer Surendrakumar said the elephant died at Velliyar River in Malappuram district on May 27. He said the post-mortem revealed that the pachyderm was pregnant.

"Rahul Gandhi is from that area, why has he not taken action?" questioned Maneka Gandhi on Wednesday. The Congress scion represents the constituency of Wayanad, which is adjoining the district of Malappuram.

Demanding the removal of the state forest secretary and the resignation of the forest minister, Maneka targeted the state government over the incident. "It's a murder. Malappuram is famous for such incidents. It's India's most violent district."

She also cited instances of poison being thrown on roads to kill "300-400 birds and dogs" in one go.

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has assured of strict action against those responsible for the killing. "The forest department is probing the case and the culprits will be brought to book," he said.

Taking a serious note of the death, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has sought a complete report and assured stern action will be taken against the culprit.