By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: Former Union Minister and Congress general secretary KC Venugopal on Thursday demanded that the BJP must tender an unqualified and unconditional public apology for giving communal color to the killing of a pregnant elephant in Kerala.
The ruling party’s leaders including former minister Maneka Gandhi and union minister Prakash Javadekar “deliberately spread false information” regarding this unfortunate incident to demonize the Muslim community as the incident happened in Palakkad district not in Muslim-dominated Malappuram district of the state.
Senior Congress leader Venugopal, who hails from Kerala, came down heavily on the BJP and right-wing troll army for spreading communally motivated false information about the incident.
The tragic and inhumane death of the pregnant elephant caused by biting a pineapple stuffed with explosives/fire crackers in Palakkad district in Kerala is an unfortunate and most cruel incident, he said.
However, Senior BJP leaders like Smt Maneka Gandhi and Cabinet Ministers like Shri Prakash Javadekar are deliberately spreading false information on this unfortunate tragedy, he said.
BJP MP and former union minister Maneka Gandhi on Wednesday termed the death of elephant as “murder” and said ‘Malappuram is famous for such incidents, it’s India’s most violent district.”
She told ANI, “its murder, Malappuram is famous for such incidents, it’s India’s most violent district, and for instance, they throw poison on roads so that 300-400 birds and dogs die at one time.”
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also claimed that the incident occurred in Malappuram however sans an anti-Muslim angle.
“Central government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Mallapuram, #Kerala. We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate properly and nab the culprit(s). This is not an Indian culture to feed fire crackers and kill” he tweeted.
Although, the incident took place in Palakkad district, the Ministers and right-wing trolls are relating the incident to the neighbouring Malappuram district.
Venugopal lambasted Maneka Gandhi and other BJP leaders for this falsehood.
“They (BJP) are deliberately spreading communally motivated false information on the district. Furthermore, without any connection whatsoever, they even dragged the name of Shri Rahul Gandhi in this diabolic incident.”
He alleged that BJP can stoop to any low to further its narrow political agenda.
“This propaganda has proven once again that the BJP will stoop to any level to twist the facts for their narrow divisive political purposes.”
They are shedding crocodile tears over the incident and this divisive propaganda has exposed BJP’s hypocrisy totally, Venugopal stated.
He said, “The BJP must tender an unqualified and unconditional public apology for giving communal color to the most unfortunate incident of the killing of a pregnant elephant in Kerala.
Another senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also condemned the vilification campaign stating that even elephant death is used to spread hatred against one particular community by twisting facts.
Patel tweeted: “It is sad that the climate in our country has become so bitter that even in the tragic death of an elephant, some are trying to misrepresent the facts to twist into an issue of one community Vs the other?”
The killing of the elephant has invited condemnation and criticism across the world as any kind of mindless and unreasonable violence against wild life is totally unacceptable and unjustifiable but the ruling used it for divisive politics.
The Kerala government has ordered the investigation of the incident.Speaking with Alt News, KK Sunil Kumar, Mannarkkad Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), said, “There is no evidence that pineapple was eaten by the elephant along with the explosives. She may have taken the explosive with any fruit, maybe pineapple. But this is an assumption. No such evidence was found in the postmortem.”