Tamil Nadu to capture Arikomban tomorrow; Section 144 imposed in Cumbum

Kerala forest department translocated Arikomban to Periyar Tiger Reserve from Chinnakanl on April 29. Photo: Manorama

Cumbum: Tamil Nadu government has ordered to tranquilise and capture wild tusker Arikomban after it triggered panic in the Cumbum area on Saturday morning. As per the order, the elephant will be captured on Sunday and sent to Meghamalai tiger reserve.

Three kumki elephants will be taken from Anamalai as part of mission to capture Arikomban. The district authority and forest department have alerted the public to exercise extreme caution and stay indoors as the elephant strayed into the Cumbum area.

Meanwhile, prohibitory orders under section 144 are in place in Cumbum town. Police booked 20 people for violating the prohibitory orders. Traffic restrictions are also in place on the Cumbummettu route. Police arrested a YouTuber for flying a drone to capture the visuals of the elephant.

According to the latest reports, Arikomban was spotted at a farm adjacent to human settlements. Tamil Nadu forest department officials have been trying to shoo away the elephant by bursting crackers.

Chief Minister M K Stalin and the forest minister held talks on mission Arikomban after videos of the wild pachyderm roaming through the streets surfaced.

In the visuals, panicked residents were seen running for safety, even as the elephant went around the town on the state's border with Kerala. Three people were injured while trying to flee from the elephant. 

The elephant, known for its ration shop raids in Kerala and love for rice, damaged an autorickshaw in the town and uprooted a fence.

On April 29 Kerala forest department translocated the elephant from Chinnakanal in Idukki to Periyar tiger reserve. But the elephant continued to travel from the spot where it was released and covered kilometres of distance to reach Tamil Nadu's Cumbum. It was expected the elephant may return to Chinnakanal if it crosses the Mathikettan Shola area.

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