Palakkad(Kerala) | The Kerala government on Monday said it cannot go to court seeking a change in location every time local residents object to relocation of an elephant close to their area.
Kerala Forest Minister A K Saseendran was referring to the protests in Parambikulam area of Palakkad district of the state against relocation of rice-eating tusker 'Arikkomban' there from Chinnakanal in Idukki district.
The Kerala High Court had last week ordered relocation of the tusker to the Parambikulam tiger reserve in Palakkad as suggested by a Committee of Experts (CoE) appointed by the court to decide whether to relocate or keep in captivity the bull elephant.
However, local residents close to the tiger reserve have been protesting against the decision.
Saseendran, speaking to reporters here, said the government cannot move court for review of its order every time people of an area object to relocation of the elephant.
"No one would be happy about it. No one would welcome it. But the government cannot keep going to court saying this place is not good or that place is not good. There is no logic to it," the minister said.
He said the government would discuss the issue with legal experts before taking a decision on what to do.
The minister further said it would be preferable that the people aggrieved by the decision opt for legal remedies and if they get relief from the courts, the government will be more than happy with that.
The CoE gave its report recommending relocation of the elephant after visiting several areas of Idukki district that have been affected by the activities of the tusker and hearing the grievances of the locals.
The directions of the court came on a PIL by two animal rights groups -- People for Animals (PFA), Trivandrum Chapter and the Walking Eye Foundation for Animal Advocacy.
In their plea, filed through advocates Bhanu Thilak and Prasanth S R, the petitioners have claimed that the order to tranquilise and capture the tusker was "illegal and unscientific".
It was on their plea that the court on March 23 in a late night sitting stayed the government decision to capture the tusker.
On March 29, the court had extended the stay till April 5 and constituted an expert committee to decide whether the elephant should be captured and kept in captivity to be trained as a kumki elephant or relocated to some other forest.
The panel in its report favoured translocating of the tusker to Parambikulam tiger reserve in Palakkad and not its capture for being trained as a kumki elephant.
Kumki elephants are captive pachyderms trained for use in trapping and capturing wild elephants.