According to initial reports, the people taken into custody are workers at a private estate. Officials said they are interrogating both and that they will be arrested formally later in the evening.
A man was arrested and another detained by the joint investigation teams of the police and forest departments in connection with the brutal killing of a pregnant elephant in Palakkad in Kerala, state’s forest minister K Raju said on Friday.
The arrested man has been identified as P Wilson, an employee of an estate that cultivates cash crops and spices. The minister said more arrests will be by evening.
The two men have reportedly told interrogators that they set up a snare of fruit filled with crackers to scare wild boars, which often destroyed their farms.
The incident came to light on May 27 when Mohan Krishnan, a forest officer, wrote a Facebook post after witnessing the death.
The elephant rushed to nearby Velliyar river after eating the fruit and died there even as forest officials rushed to rescue it. The crackers exploded when the elephant chomped on the pineapple.
The killing of the 15-year-old elephant had triggered countrywide protests as Bollywood actors, business icons and sports persons joined to condemn the action.
Many including, former Union minister Maneka Gandhi, claimed it happened in Muslim-majority Malappuram district. Her sweeping comment, which many said were made without verifying facts, triggered widespread condemnation in Kerala.
People of Kerala have started a campaign “We are with Malappuram” to counter the attack against the district known for communal amity.
The embarrassed government had constituted the special investigation team on Thursday as the killing of the elephant whipped up controversy.