Over a year after a pregnant elephant was killed after eating a firecracker stuffed in a pineapple, the second accused, who allegedly planted the trap meant for a wild boar, surrendered before the Munsiff Magistrate Court in Palakkad’s Mannarkkad on 16 October.
Riyazudeen, 38, had been absconding since June 2020, and surrendered almost one-and-half years later. His father Abdul Kareem, the first accused in the case, is still absconding. The Forest Department said that they would seek Riyazudeen's custody on Monday, 18 October.
The 15-year-old pregnant elephant ate a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers in mid May 2020. The elephant died a few days after that incident and was cremated on 27 May 2020. Her autopsy revealed that she was one month pregnant.
The animal belonged to the Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad and ate the fruit in the forest area near Palakkad-Malappuram border. When she bit into the fruit stuffed with firecrackers, she was grievously injured. Her upper and lower jaws as well as tongue were mangled.
The elephant died standing in a river, and there was a lot of outrage over the death of the animal. The international animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection, had written to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and local authorities seeking swift and strong action against the culprits.
The Humane Society International, India had even offered a reward of up to Rs 50,000 for information about the accused and their arrest and conviction.
(Published in arrangement with The News Minute)