A tusker, Thechikottukavu Ramachandran, who killed 13 people and three elephants, was allowed to be paraded at temple festivals again. The ban was lifted by the Thrissur administration on Monday after a review meeting by the Thrissur District Monitoring Committee based petition by the Thechikottukavu Temple Devaswom.
The 55-year-old tusker, which is almost entirely blind, will now be paraded twice a week across temples in the state. Weekly fitness tests are also to be conducted on the 55-year-old tusker. Further, an elephant squad with members from both the festival squad and the district monitoring committee is to remain close to the animal during temple festivals. The committee has also stated that whenever he is taken to a temple, the forest officials and police in the area are to be intimated in advance.
The ban, however, has not been lifted for the Thrissur Pooram, where it is usually paraded in front of the Vadakkumnathan temple on the first day of the festival. The elephant symbolically opens the temple main door, marking the beginning of the festival. It has been banned from being paraded during festivals by the Kerala High Court seven times. Its last ban was issued on March 25, 2019, after it trampled to death two persons and injured seven others during a house warming ceremony in Guruvayoor in February last year.
It should not be paraded for more than one hour says Venkitachalam, Secretary of Heritage animal task force secretary to news agency. ''Security surveillance systems, including CCTV, should be prepared for its parade,'' he said.