Elephant Suffer Painful Death: Maximum Punishment Perpetrators can get?
Why humans would inflict such pain on a Genial giant.
This is the question on everyone’s mind
On hearing the story of the Pregnant Elephant in Kerala who died.
When elephants are in pain, some are known to get angry and cause harm to humans. But this one suffered in silence, after crackers exploded in her mouth causing severe injuries in the mouth and the tongue. This horrific incident became known to the large public after it was shared on social media by a forest officer. It has outraged millions of people, who are demanding justice for this poor elephant.
How the Shameful Incident occurred?
Firstly, The Forest Officers believe she must have stayed in Velliyar River, her trunk dipped in water to get some relief from the pregnancy pain. But, later it came to know that a very disheartening incident had happened. The cruelty is difficult to comprehend. The elephant was in immense pain for 2–3 weeks after she ate a pineapple which was stuffed with firecrackers by some locals in Kerala‘s Palakkad district. She died last week, standing in a river, after going through a trauma. Though an FIR has been lodged the culprits continued to be at large and no arrests have been made.
Forest officer Mohan Krishnan wrote an Emotional Facebook post in Malayalam:
“She didn’t have a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village. She didn’t crush a single home. This is why I said, she is full of goodness.”
- Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has warned that the Self – Respect of the state cannot be challenged by creating a wrong narrative on the elephant issue.” It is only a desire of a section to malign the prestige of the state earned by conquering COVID – 19. The case is under investigation with a focus on three persons.
- Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted,saying “Central Government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Malappuram, Kerala.We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate properly and nab the culprits. This is not an Indian culture to feed dire crackers and kill.”
Punishment – Expected in such cases!
People in Kerala and across the country are demanding that the culprits must be immediately arrested and punished for this terrible atrocity. The maximum punishment under the law for such heinous acts should be given to those responsible – that is -the near universal sentiment.
- Animal rights are protected under article 51A (G) of the Constitution, which makes it a citizen’s duty to protect the wildlife and show compassion for living creatures.
- In the concurrent list both the Centre and State are given the power to prevent cruelty to animals and protect wild animals and birds.
- The overreaching legal framework to act against the cases of animal cruelty is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 which aims to stop the infliction of unnecessary suffering or pain on animals.
However, in this incident from Kerala, the culprits are likely to prosecute under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, another Central act which helps the cause of protection of not just animals, but also birds and plants. The pregnant female elephant that died was reportedly of wild animals unlike many elephants in Kerala that are domesticated the people behind this crime can face a maximum of seven years in jail.
The act states that anyone found guilty of capturing, poisoning, trapping or baiting a wild animal or even attempting to do so can face a fine of Rs.25,000 or seven years in jail or both.
Forest officials said it is possible that the elephant might have eaten the cracker-filled fruit, which is used by the local residents generally to killed by wild boars, which destroy crops, through a practice called snaring.
Snaring is a practice that is widely used in different parts of the country to kill wild animals. An edible item is packed with explosives or chemicals or glass pieces, so as to make sure an animal is deceived and killed. It is quite possible that the elephant ate the explosive laden fruit that was meant to ward of wild boars by villagers.
Views of Gauri Maulekhi, an Animal Right Activist
The outrage over the death of the elephant is misplaced, she said. Whenever an animal is declared vermin by our state government, they use all sorts of cruel ways to kill the animals without any dignity whatsoever. Further she says that Wild Boars are declared vermin in Kerala that means they do not enjoy the protection given to the wild animals under the Wildlife Protection Act. Hence the villagers adopt all sorts of ways to get rid of them. The death of this elephant is not a reminder of what animals go through, so unless there is outrage over these barbaric policies, such incidents will routinely happen.
Finally, it is inhuman to attack any animal – whether wild boars or Elephants. For example, the areas surrounding the Attapadi forests near the villages of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu – of which the Silent Valley National Reserve is only an extension – have many buildings including houses, which have electric fences to deal with elephants. One of these buildings belongs to a public institution and another to a spiritual organization. The fundamental issue is the insensitivity of the people who barge into forests, leaving the animals there homeless.
Why do we care so much when an elephant is killed by coincidence and not when wild boars are killed intentionally by the same practice? Why do responsible people who hold public offices act irresponsible? Let us take a minute to condemn what has happened but let also take more than a minute to contemplate, discuss and debate what is happening in general.
The elephant was cremated inside the forest in a ceremony presided by forest officials. Two lives were lost: the mother and the unborn child. The least we can hope is that those responsible feel the force of the law.
Author: Shubham Sharma,
Delhi Metropolitan Education, I.P. University, 2nd Yr.