- Controversy surrounding Dasara Jumbo’s death deepens
- Memorials to be constructed in Hassan and Mysuru
Bengaluru/Mysuru: Following demand from various quarters including the wildlife activists seeking a thorough and impartial investigation into the death of Dasara elephant Arjuna at Yeslur range forest in Hassan district on Dec. 4, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah has said that he has ordered a probe into the jumbo’s tragic death.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru this morning, Siddharamaiah said “I have already directed a probe into the circumstances that led to Arjuna’s death in the wake of conflicting reports. The truth has to come out. I have also sought detailed information about the incident.”
Expressing sorrow over Arjuna’s demise and emphasising that the elephant should have lived longer, the Chief Minister stated that Arjuna had participated in the Jumboo Savari eight times by carrying 750-kg Golden Howdah with ease.
Siddharamaiah also remembered Arjuna’s significant service to Goddess Chamundeshwari and the lasting image of his majestic walk amidst lakhs of people during the Dasara procession.
The CM told reporters that the State Government will construct a memorial at the site in the forest where 64-year-old Arjuna died fighting, as well as in H.D. Kote, Mysuru district, as Arjuna was captured in the last khedda operation at Kakanakote and was housed at Balle Camp, near H.D. Kote.
Mahout’s version: Conflicting reports from Forest Department officials and Mahouts have raised uncertainties about the events surrounding Arjuna’s fatal encounter with a wild tusker in the Yeslur range. As the wild tusker approached the tamed elephants, Forest Department staff resorted to firing warning shots into the air.
According to the viral video testimony of a Mahout, Arjuna sustained injuries during this gunfire. The video featuring an alleged conversation between a Mahout and another individual has intensified the ambiguity, leading to calls for a thorough investigation.
In the video, the Mahout asserts that Forest Department officials unintentionally tranquilised Arjuna when attacked by the wild tusker, claiming their efforts to repel the intruder were unsuccessful. The Mahout noted that both the wild elephant and Arjuna were in musth condition, a heightened state of aggression.
The Mahout further mentions that another tamed elephant, Prashantha, was mistakenly darted during the incident but later rescued. Forest Department officials, however, have contradicted these accounts and with conflicting narratives persisting, the controversy surrounding Arjuna’s death continues to deepen, prompting renewed demands for a comprehensive investigation.