Kerala Forest Minister Joins Issue With Bishops' Council Over Wild Gaur Attacks

(MENAFN- IANS) Thiruvananthapuram, May 21 (IANS) Forest Minister A.K. Saseendran slammed the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC) for its stand on the killing of farmers by wild gaurs,
The minister while speaking to media persons at Kozhikode said there were attempts on the part of some organisations to fan the flames of anger against the government.
He said the statement of the Bishop's council that farmers should be protected from attack of wild animals just like the state government was protecting wild animals, was a bit provocative. He said the Bishop's body was trying to bargain with the dead.
Saseendran also said that the Bishop's body was aggressive and the government has to make efforts to pacify the agitating protesters. He also said that the KCBC should avoid provocative statements that are against its rich heritage.
Responding to the minister, the KCBC deputy secretary general and spokesperson, Father Jacob G. Palakkyapilly told media persons that the people have the right to live peacefully and added that expressing people's concern should not be considered as provocation.
He also said that a person, who was reading a newspaper in his verandah, was killed by a wild gaur and added that the people of the state can share the concern only with the government.
The people of Erumeli are mounting their protests after two elderly persons, Chackochan (70) and Thomas (71) were killed in the gaur attacks. The people are angry at the statement of the forest department that it would tranquilize the gaur and relocate it to deep forests while the people wanted the animal to be shot dead. The Kottayam district collector, Girija had promised the public that the wild gaur would be shot dead.
The protest of the local people has turned into a mass protest with several organisations lending their support to it.



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