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Elephantine row: Tusker allowed at Thrissur Pooram fest

IANS  |  Thrissur (Kerala) 

It had all the ingredients of a thriller with even the intervening.

Finally, after an early morning medical check-up, 'Thechikottukavu Ramachandran', 54-year-old tusker, on Saturday was cleared to symbolically push open the southern entrance of on Sunday morning to signal the start of the 'Pooram' festivities.

The clearance was given by district after going through the medical report, submitted to her by a team of three veterinarians who examined the tusker.

According to the order, the tusker will arrive at the temple premises and push open the temple door as part of the rituals. It will stay at the premises for one hour (9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.) and has to be accompanied by four mahouts. The tusker will stand in a 10-metre barricaded area and people would be kept away from him.

With this the issue has been resolved. The has also withdrawn its decision to not allow their elephants take part in festivities.

Things came to a head on May 8, when the federation, the only body of owners of captive elephants in the state, criticised K. Raju's decision not to allow tuskers take part in festivities as it had killed seven people in the past.

The federation then announced that it would not allow its elephants to take part in festivals. It came as a dampener to the keenly watched Pooram festivities, which include parading of more than 50 elephants and fireworks.

To iron out differences and resolve the issue, state ministers held an emergency meeting with the federation. On Friday, the put the onus on the if tuskers should take part in festivities or not.

On Saturday morning, underwent a hour-long check-up by a veterinarians' team. The team cleared him as "fit for all activities" and submitted a report to Anupuma, who then decided to allow the pachyderm to do the job that he has been doing since 2014.

Speaking to the media, R. Chandran, of the Thechikottukavu Devasom, owner of Ramachandran, said rules were very clear. If any elephant misbehaved, the responsibility would be that of the elephant owner, he added.

"Yes, Raman (Ramachandran) had some issues before, but he is loved by all. Following a high court directive, since 2014 he is guided by four mahouts. Since he has a vision problem with his right eye, the high court has directed that a mahout be posted on the right side when Raman moves around," said Chandran.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 11 2019. 17:24 IST