Kochi: Days after a 68-year-old woman pilgrim died in an elephant attack at Sabarimala, Kerala High Court on Wednesday sought the opinion of Animal Welfare Board of India and state Forest Department on parading tamed elephants during festivals at the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa situated in dense forest.
The Devaswom Bench of the court comprising Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Anu Sivaraman also directed the Travancore Devaswom Board to inform its stand regarding parading of the caparisoned elephant as part of the Makaravilakku and Araattu festivals in the holy shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.
"It directed the Devaswom Board to also ascertain the views of the temple's tantri and chief priest in this regard. The woman devotee was seriously injured when a tamed elephant attacked her during a temple festival and she succumbed to injuries at a hospital." The court has taken up the matter suo motu.