THRISSUR: Irked by a ban on the jumbo Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran from Thrissur Pooram, the Kerala Elephant Owners Federation has decided to withdraw all elephants from the festival, leaving it in a state of uncertainty.
A meeting of the federation held in Thrissur has decided not to lease out elephants for any festivities from Saturday, a day before the official start of the 36-hour-long Thrissur Pooram.
The meeting registered a protest against the stance of the Forest Department, saying it unilaterally backed out from the decisions taken at a meeting held in the presence of the agriculture minister V S Sunilkumar, forest minister K Raju and MLA K B Ganeshkumar in the first week of April.
The meeting also demanded the withdrawal of the ban imposed on Thechikottukavu Ramachandran.
The federation's general secretary P Sasikumar said there is a concerted move to phase out elephant parades in the festival programmes of temples, churches and mosques in the name of enforcing registration for the elephants.
Mangalamkunnu Parameswaran, P S Jayagopal, Rajesh Pallattu, Balachandramenon, P S Raveendrannair, Chirakkal Madhu and K Mahesh were among the other office bearers who took part in the meeting.
Commenting on the development, agriculture minister V S Sunilkumar said the jumbo owners' decision was very unfortunate.