Forest department to probe Yeddyurappa’s tusker gift

November 8th, 2008 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Thrissur (Kerala), Nov 8 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s gift - a nine-year-old tusker - to a temple in Kerala has the activists up in arms and the forest department has launched an enquiry for suspected violation of rules. J.K. Tiwary, chief wildlife warden of the forest department, said: “All I can say is that we have begun an enquiry after a complaint was registered.”

Yeddyurappa arrived at the Rajarajeshwara temple at Taliparambu, about 30 km from Kannur, Wednesday and gifted the elephant. He was fulfilling a promise made ahead of assembly elections in his home state.

The complainant, V.K. Venkitachalam who is the secretary of the Elephant Lovers Association, said that the gift was in violation of 18 conditions stipulated by the wild life department.

As per the Kerala forest department guidelines, an elephant, who has an ownership certificate from the department, can only be sold or gifted if the financial condition of the owner is bad. The wildlife has to certify that the owner would no longer be able to take care of the elephant.

“The department had come up with the guidelines on June 20 this year. The chief minister’s action have clearly violated them. More over, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 17, 2005 had asked all heads of state not to buy animals for gifting to places of worship,” Venkitachalam said.

“These two are the major violations and the rest are technical violations. We have also written to the prime minister and the chief election commissioner on these violations,” he said.

He said that as per the records, the animal was sold by a man named Sasidharan and a complaint has also been filed against him.

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