Taking cognisance of the death of a pregnant wild elephant at Silent Valley Forest in the southern state of Kerala, India's National Green Tribunal has formed a committee and directed it to submit an action-taken report on the matter.
"In order to ascertain the real state of affairs and also the steps to be taken to protect wildlife and minimise man-animal conflict in future, we feel it appropriate to appoint a joint committee," the bench said in an order on June 5.
The elephant fell victim to an act of human cruelty after a pineapple filled with powerful crackers offered to the animal allegedly by locals exploded in her mouth when she chomped on it. The elephant died in a river in Palakkad district of Kerala on May 27.
The NGT said the news has agitated people all over the nation and it went viral on social media as well.
"These things are probably happening due to various aspects of not following the norms for protecting the wild animals in the forest exposing them to conflict with humans, thereby their lives were put to danger," the NGT said.
An NGT bench, comprising of Justice K Ramakrishnan and Saibal Dasgupta, sought a response from Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, Kerala government and others before July 10.
The committee set up by the NGT comprises of a senior officer not below the rank of chief conservator of forest deputed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife, Chief Wildlife Warden in Kerala, a senior officer from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Southern Zone, Wildlife Warden of Silent Valley Division and the divisional forest officer of Mannarkkad and Punalur and the Palakkad district collector.
The committee submit a factual and action-taken report, including the long-term management plan to avoid such recurrences in future, the bench said.
The NGT said it has taken cognisance of the case for the purpose of making an effort to avoid such things in future.