New Delhi: A day after ordering a wildlife crime investigation team to probe the brutal killing of a pregnant wild elephant last month in a forest area in Palakkad district, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said an investigation is underway and the focus right now is on three suspects.Also Read - Bihar Artist Makes Sand Art Seeking Justice For Kerala Elephant, Calls the Incident a 'Blot on Humanity'
Issuing a statement, the Kerala chief minister said that his state administration will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible. Also Read - Fact Check: Pregnant Elephant Was NOT 'Fed' Cracker-Stuffed 'Pineapple' in Kerala's 'Malappuram', Maneka Gandhi Called Out For Communalising Animal's Death
“In a tragic incident in Palakkad district, a pregnant elephant has lost its life. An investigation is underway, focusing on 3 suspects. We will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice,” Pinarayi Vijayan said. Also Read - 'Absolutely Unacceptable,' Says Prakash Javadekar, Initiates Probe in Kerala Elephant's Death
Soon after the matter came to limelight and the centre pressured the state government to take immediate action, the state chief minister on Wednesday said a wildlife crime investigation team will probe the brutal killing of the elephant.
The elephant had consumed a pineapple filled with powerful firecrackers which exploded in the animal’s mouth in the Silent Valley Forest and died about a week later.
As per updates from the state government, a wildlife crime investigation team from Kozhikode has been dispatched to the place of the incident for further investigation.
On the other hand, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Centre has sought a complete report and assured stern action will be taken against the culprits involved.
The elephant died at Velliyar River on May 27 after efforts by forest personnel to bring it to the river bank using two other trained elephants failed. The post-mortem revealed that the pachyderm was pregnant. As per reports, her jaw was broken and she was unable to eat after she chewed the pineapple and it exploded in her mouth.
Meanwhile, the state Forest Department said significant headway has been made in the investigation into the death of the elephant. The forest department also said it would leave no stone unturned to ensure maximum punishment to the culprits.