Terming it as a 'blot' on humanity, Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad on Thursday urged the Kerala Government to initiate stringent legal action against those involved in the killing of a pregnant elephant.
In a letter to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Awhad sought strong legal action to book the culprits "who committed this heinous murder" under the Cruelty to Animals Act and ensure strictest punishment to them.
"As an animal lover, I feel this is a blot on humanity, ironically, in a state where elephants are worshipped," Awhad pointed out.
He said all look up to Kerala as an epitome of social justice and equality, and also studied how these virtues have been further strengthened under Vijayan's leadership.
The letter by the minister -- who is a senior Nationalist Congress Party leader -- came against the backdrop of the barbaric killing of a pregnant pachyderm in a Kerala village recently.
Citing reports, Awhad said that a few days ago, the famished elephant had gone to a village hoping to get some food, but the villagers served her live firecrackers hidden inside pineapples, which burst in her mouth, grievously injuring her tongue and mouth.
Though she did not become violent, she displayed the presence of mind to rush to a nearby pond hoping the water would heal her injuries and remained there for around three days.
However, she succumbed on May 27 after a long battle of struggle with her agony, stunning animal lovers around the country.
Union Minister of Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar said in a tweet: "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 culprit(s). This is not an Indian culture to feed firecrackers and kill."