Kerala HC Suspends ‘Operation Arikomban’ Till March 29

Kerala High Court recently ordered the suspension of ‘Operation Arikomban’ to catch the wild elephants in the Idukki district.

A Division Bench of the High Court ordered this till March 29 by holding a special sitting on Thursday night.

The High Court observed that capturing the elephant was the last resort and suggested that alternative methods should be explored. There are ways like attaching a collar and tracking the elephant.
The court also inquired as to how elephants could be seized before completing the process without doing any of this.

The High Court will hear the case again on March 29.

The Forest Department and Idukki district administration have arranged 11 units of Rapid Response Team comprising 71 officers to capture the wild elephants from an undulating terrain in Idukki.

Elaborate arrangements are in place to capture Arikomban, the wild elephant which has been causing damage to properties in Munnar and nearby areas in Kerala. Arikomban, which got its name from its love for ‘ari’ (rice) with ‘komban’ meaning tusker, has damaged several houses and ration shops in Chinnakanal and Munnar areas of Idukki in the past few years.

A dummy ration shop is being established near the Cement plant at Chinnakanal in order to lure Arikomban for tranquilizing. A house that was earlier damaged by Arikomban will be rearranged as the ration shop. Various groceries and rice will be stored inside it.

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About the Author: Meera Verma