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A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court calling for an investigation monitored by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the "deep rooted menace of killing elephants" in the state of Kerala. (Avadh Kaushik vs UoI & Ors)
Petitioner-in-person and Advocate-on-Record Avadh Bihari Kaushik has approached the Apex Court days after the "horrific, tragic, brutal, cruel and inhumane" killing of a pregnant elephant in the state.
Relying on news reports, Kaushik has stated that villagers near Silent Valley National Park in Mannarkkad district of Kerala killed the pregnant elephant by feeding it with pineapple stuffed with "powerful and explosive crackers."
The elephant was found dead on May 27, standing in the Velliyar River in Palakkad district of Kerala. The plea reads,
"Post-mortem carried out on the pregnant elephant's body shows that the elephant could not eat or drink anything for nearly two weeks before her death. The post-mortem report confirms that major wounds and injuries were caused in the oral cavity (mouth) of the pregnant elephant as a result of the explosive blast of the firecrackers."
The plea highlights another incident where an elephant was reported to have been killed in similar fashion in Pathanapuram forest range area in the state's Kollam district back in April this year.
The plea avers that not only has the state failed to take steps to prevent such deaths, but there also appears to be a calculated and organized racket of killing the giant animal.
Plea filed in Supreme Court
Moreover, it is stated that there is no mechanism and coordination amongst the investigating agencies and therefore, a proper mechanism is required to be put in place.
On these grounds and others, the plea calls for a transfer of the FIR filed in the case to the CBI, under the constant monitoring of the Supreme Court. Alternatively, the petition seeks a direction for the formation of an SIT headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court to probe into the cases of repeated killing of elephants in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.
Apart from these prayers, the plea also seeks for the Court to call the entire record of the two recent elephant death cases in Kerala and other such incidents in different states.