June 2019
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HC says authorities to decide on allowing tusker in Pooram
Kochi: The Kerala High Court Friday refused to interfere in a petition seeking to allow a 54-year-old celebrity jumbo to take part in the state's famous Thrissur Pooram festival next week, saying the authorities concerned should take a decision on the matter.

When the plea came up for consideration, Justice Anu Sivaraman said a decision on allowing the tusker named 'Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran', India's tallest captive elephant, to participate in an important ritual related to the Pooram festival has to be taken by the authorities concerned.

In their plea, owners of the elephant said they are concerned as district authorities may not permit it to participate in the ritual.

With the court refusing to interfere with the matter, an expert committee has to take a call on the issue. It will be chaired by Thrissur district collector and comprising experts, including divisional forest officer and veterinary doctors,

Following the high court decision, the Kerala government sought the legal opinion from Additional Advocate General Renjith Thampan on the matter who in turn advised the government that the tuskar can be permitted for participating only in Pooram festival with certain restrictions.

The Additional Advocate General (AAG) told the government that people should be kept away from the jumbo during its parade and steps should be taken to avoid any sort of danger to the people.

Authorities concerned should also ensure that the elephant would not be provoked.

If any untoward incident occurs, the elephant owners should take its responsibility.

The Kerala captive elephants (management and maintenance) rules, 2003 should be followed while parading the tusker.

Authorities should also ensure that the elephant is insured, the AAG said.

The administration has already banned parading of Ramachandran in any festival, after arriving at a conclusion that it has run amok and killed people and elephants.

Besides, the elephant is also partially blind.

In recent years, the main event of Thrissur Pooram festivities begins with Ramachandran symbolically pushing open the southern entrance gate of the ancient Vadakkumnathan temple in Thrissur city.

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