A day after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's assurance on proving justice to the brutally killed pregnant elephant in Kerala, the state marked its first arrest over the incident. Kerala Forest Minister K Raju has said one person has been arrested over the killing of the tusker that has triggered loud furor earlier this week.
More culprits suspected
The minister added that not only this person but more people were involved in the tragic death of the elephant. The police and forest department are continuing with further investigation to nab the other culprits with no delay.
"The arrested man is a rubber tapper. A search is on for others," said Palakkad district police chief G Siva Vikram.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said on Thursday that three suspects were under the scanner over the incident.
The pregnant elephant died after eating a pineapple stuffed with explosives. It later drowned in a pond succumbing to the severe injuries in its mouth due to the explosion. The locals used to stuff fruits and other edible substances with crackers so as to prevent the attack of wild animals in their cultivated lands.
According to Chief Wildlife Warden Surendra Kumar, the accused, who is in his forties, has allegedly handled explosives and also assisted others involved in the incident.
Chief Minister slams hate campaigns
As protests rage intensely on the alleged killing of the pregnant elephant in Kerala's Palakkad district, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured on Thursday that a thorough investigation is underway on the incident.
The Chief Minister took to his Twitter handle to react on the nationwide call for the animal's justice in a series of tweets.
He also expressed his agony on the hate campaigns that are geared up on the other side over the incident, accusing the state and its people.
Even within the state, posts slamming on the 'inhumane' nature of people in Palakkad and Malappuram were widespread. "Having said that, we are saddened by the fact some have used this tragedy to unleash a hate campaign. Lies built upon inaccurate descriptions and half-truths were employed to obliterate the truth. Some even tried to import bigotry into the narrative. Wrong priorities."
Meanwhile, Congress on Thursday accused the BJP of giving a "communal colour" to the tragic incident. Congress also added that some BJP leaders were deliberately spreading "false information" on the issue.