THRISSUR: The three-day standoff between elephant owners and the Thrissur district administration over parading Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran ended on Friday after the local Collector decided to allow the 54-year-old popular but mischievous elephant provided it passes the medical fitness test.
A three-member team of doctors will test the elephant’s fitness on Saturday. Following the announcement, the elephant owners, who had threatened to boycott the Pooram, decided to lease the elephants for the famous temple festival.
A meeting convened by Thrissur Collector T V Anupama also decided to control the crowd coming to the Pooram using barricades.
Finally, decks are being cleared for the smooth conduct of the Thrissur Pooram with the district-level elephant monitoring committee chaired by the Collector deciding to give a conditional nod to the parading of Thechikottukavu Ramachandran after the inspection of the tusker by a three-member veterinary panel deputed by the committee. The elephant will be used for the pooram proclamation procession if the committee gives fitness certificate to the pachyderm after the inspection on Saturday. Earlier in the morning, the Advocate General (AG) has given nod to Thrissur District Collector to allow the elephant to participate in the pooram after the district-level monitoring committee meeting.
AG C P Sudhakara Prasad gave legal advice with riders only for the ritual heralding the Thrissur Pooram. The District Collector was told to take necessary steps to prevent any untoward incident. Further, people shouldn’t be allowed to go near the elephant during the ritual and steps would be taken to ensure that jumbo wouldn’t be provoked in any way and the responsibility for any untoward incident would be fixed with the owner of the elephant, which should be secured in writing from the owner. Legal advice has asked to ensure insurance coverage for the elephant along with ensuring the management of the elephant as per the rule. Though the elephant owners sought the removal of a complete ban on the elephant, the meeting decided to give permission only to the ritual connected to Thrissur Pooram in the light of the AG’s advice. Barricades would be erected at the entrance of the southern gate to separate the elephant from the public.