Protests Erupt Following Tragic Death of Woman Killed by Elephant in Kerala, Marks 5th Incident this Year

The woman had gone into a rubber plantation near the forest when the elephant attacked her.
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The tranquil town of Kothamangalam in Idukki, Kerala, erupted into a scene of anguish and unrest as residents staged a protest over the tragic death of a 70-year-old woman, Indira Ramakrishnan. Indira fell victim to a fatal elephant attack in the Kanjiraveli area of Idukki earlier on Monday, marking the fifth such incident in the state this year.

According to reports, Indira Ramakrishnan ventured into a rubber plantation near the forest to serve breakfast to her husband, who was engaged in work. Tragically, she encountered an elephant, which swiftly turned aggressive, resulting in fatal injuries. Despite being rushed to a nearby hospital, she succumbed to her wounds.

Residents of Kothamangalam, led by Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan and Idukki MP Dean Kuriakose, voiced their outrage over the escalating human-animal conflict in the region. Refusing to surrender Indira’s body for postmortem examination, protesters demanded urgent action to address the issue of human-elephant conflict.

Tensions escalated as the body was forcibly taken from the mortuary, sparking a confrontation with law enforcement. Protesters took to the streets, chanting ‘Police go back’ as they clashed with officers. Videos circulated online captured moments of confrontation, with Ernakulam DCC president Mohammad Shias seen engaging in a heated exchange with a senior police officer.

Expressing dismay over the handling of the situation, Dean Kuriakose criticized the police for disrespecting the deceased by displaying her body on the road. He emphasized the need for accountability and called for ministerial intervention to quell the unrest.

The protest persisted until authorities intervened, forcibly removing the body from the demonstrators. The incident underscores the urgent need for effective measures to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in Kerala, where such encounters continue to pose a significant threat to both humans and animals.

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