C P Mathew asked the government to take immediate action and find a solution to shift the jumbos; Image: PTI
A Congress leader in Kerala has said wild elephants entering human settlements in the hills here will be eliminated, drawing criticism from the State Forest Minister A K Sassendran. Addressing a Youth Congress programme, president of the Idukki District Congress Committee (DCC) C P Mathew said he has friends in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, who can shoot elephants.
"We have friends in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka who are sharp-shooters, they can shoot the elephants down. If the animals continue to create trouble, as responsible members of the Opposition party we will be forced to take such action to protect the people even if it's illegal," Mathew said.
He asked the government to take immediate action and find a solution to shift the jumbos. Meanwhile, the Forest Minister told reporters that the Congress leader was provocative in nature. "On January 31, we had an all-party-meeting in which he (Mathew) also participated. The meeting unanimously agreed to bring in a special rapid force to capture the elephants. In fact, the special team has already reached the district from Wayanad and initiated the process," Saseendran said.
The Minister said a team led by chief forest veterinary officer Dr Arun Sakaria has reached the district and is studying the topography of the region in order to capture the elephants. "I suspect that such a provocative statement by the leaders of the Congress party was to create unrest among the people.
The governments can function only according to the law," Saseendran said. He said no government can accept such killing of wildlife as was mentioned by the Congress leader. The Idukki district has been facing many elephant attacks for sometime now. Recently, a team led by Sakaria captured two wild elephants from Wayanad and Palakkad.
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