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Fact Vs. Fake

Right-Wingers Falsely Link Tragic Death Of Kerala Elephant To ‘Muslim Majority’ Mallapuram District

The tragic death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala after she ate a pineapple laden with firecrackers has sparked massive outrage across the country. But it did not take long for the rabid online Hindutva brigade to communalise the horrendous incident and falsely blame Muslims for it. The incident, which took place in the state’s Palakkad district was falsely attributed to Mallapuram district, which has a significant Muslim population to give it a communal angle.

Well-known Hindutva apologist and Islamophobe Arun Pudur, who was recently caught lifting photos from an American brewery to falsely claim that he was distributing hand-sanitisers amidst the coronavirus pandemic, and who the Forbes magazine has described as a “Wannabe Billionaire” whose “business empire–and his billions–may be largely fiction” gave a communal twist to the incident.

“In Kerala’s Malappuram, ba$tards fed a Pregnant Elephant Fed Pineapple Stuffed with Firecrackers. She exploded but didn’t harm anyone. She went to the river and died quietly. Now tell me about 100% literacy & who is majority in Mallapuram?,” he tweeted, insinuating a Muslim hand in the tragedy.

Another habitual fake news peddler and vagabond anti-Muslim hate monger Tarek Fatah too jumped in to spread hatred against the community. “The atrocity of feeding a pregnant elephant with pineapple full of firecrackers & killing her, took place in the Mallapuram district of India’s Kerala State. The district is the only Muslim-majority district of the state with an over 70% Muslim population. What are the chances?” he tweeted.

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Although it has been widely reported in the media that the incident occurred in Palakkad, the right-wingers, including former Union Minister and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi attributed the incident to Malappuram.

“Mallapuram is known for its intense criminal activity especially with regards to animals. No action has ever been taken against a single poacher or wildlife killer so they keep doing it. I can only suggest that you call/email and ask for action,” Maneka Gandhi tweeted.

A NDTV article which quotes forest officials reported that the “wild elephant had left the Silent Valley forest and meandered into a nearby village in search of food. It was here that she ate the fireworks-laced pineapple, which villagers use to protect their fields against wild boars.”

“According to forest officials, when the elephant ate the fruit, the fireworks exploded in her mouth, badly injuring her tongue and mouth. After walking around the village for days in pain, unable to eat anything, the elephant went back into the wild.”

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“The animal then ventured out into the Velliyar River and stood there with her trunk in the water.”

Contrary to the claims made by the online Hindutva brigade the Silent Valley National Park is in Palakkad and not in Malappuram.

Also, so far there have been no arrests made into the death of the elephant, so the claims made to blame Muslims for the incident is false and malicious.

Shaik Zakeer Hussain is the Founder and Editor of The Cognate.

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