Thursday 5 August 2021
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NDTV edits Malappuram to Palakkad in report on elephant killed by crackers

NDTV changes not only the headline but also the location of the crime of of an elephant to blame Hindus and save Muslim criminals

“See what NDTV has done. They have changed not only the headline and narrative but also the district/location of the crime. Simply to blame Hindus and save Muslim criminals. District Malappuram where the elephant was actually killed has 70% Muslims whereas District Palakkad has a 67% Hindu population.” This is a message that has gone viral on and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

In the horrific incident (link to Sirf News‘s previous report), some people — suspected to be Muslim — killed a pregnant elephant by feeding her a pineapple stuffed with crackers in Kerala’s Malappuram. An FIR has been lodged against unidentified people under the relevant sections of the Wild Life Protection Act (WPA), confirmed a forest range officer at Mannarkkad.

According to NDTV, however, “the wild elephant had left the forests of Silent Valley in Palakkad district, meandering into a nearby village in search of food. According to forest officials, the elephant is suspected to have eaten a pineapple.”

While the link to the NDTV story leads to the form seen in the second screenshot in which the report exists now, if the first screenshot is true, the said media outlet had named Malappuram at 5:35 PM on 2 June. At 11:48 PM the next day, the location changed to Palakkad.

Section Forest Officer Mohan Krishnan in Nilambur had shared this incident of human barbarism on social media. NDTV kept that part intact, not bothering to change the location of the forest officer.

While Silent Valley, where the incident occurred, stretches between Palakkad and Malappuram within the 76º 24′ and 76º 29′ East Longitude and 11º 4′ and 11º 13′ North Latitude, no other media house said it happened in the Hindu-majority district.

Meanwhile, the English language media has reported no arrests in the case but a few dailies have named Amzath Ali and Thamim Shaikh as suspects. Today’s reports in English quote Chief Pinarayi Vijayan as saying the guilty will be punished and mention “three suspects”. However, no report in English has named these suspects as yet.

“Major and incapacitating wounds and injuries in oral cavity caused localised sepsis and have most likely occurred following an explosive blast in the mouth. This resulted in excruciating pain and distress in the region and prevented the animal from taking food and water for nearly two weeks. Severe debility and weakness, in turn, resulted in the final collapse in water that led to drowning,” the postmortem report said.

When this image was posted on Facebook, some of the comments received were as follows.

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  1. One person accused in the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala’s Palakkad district has been arrested by police,

    Ndtv is right,
    please don’t delete my comment my whole family is RSS supporter

  2. After reading this article, I am pretty sure you are not from Kerala and don’t know about the state or its mindset. So that you know why NDTV is absolutely right in changing its article, I am obliged to write/reply to your article.
    There was a misconception that the elephant killing happened in Mallapuram, which was wrong. It happened in Pallakad. Even the Kerala State Government has clarified this. In a very famous Malayalam news channel, the reporters were discussing how hindi news channels are running wrong district in the story. I am 100% sure somebody would have complained, hence NDTV changed the name of the place.
    Secondly, the pineapple/coconut was not fed. But elephant himself came and ate the coconut. Farmers in Pallakad, who live in the brink of forests, face regular disturbance from wild animals. These wild animals come and destroy their farms or eat the ones grown by farmers. So, it is a very common practice in these areas to put a cracker in the coconut/pineapple and keep it in the entrance. So when any wild animal approaches it, it will burst and the animals will be scared away. Hence, the farms will not be destroyed. Hence, similar thing happened with this animal. But the problem is ate that coconut and it bursted inside. Hence, the correction that she was not fed but she ate.
    I know for people who don’t need to deal with wild animals as part of their everyday life and want to give everything a hindu muslim angle but yes, want to behave as a great wildlife protection will not accept my opinion. But please do read a little bit about Kerala. The fact that Kerala still have wild elephants living at the same places is because it’s progressive. Think about other states, where only animals you see are tamed ones. So, many incidents of wild animals killing humans have happened in Kerala. But yes, nobody reports those.
    And about this hindu muslim angle, kerala is very much progressive with very less hatred where you will find a great unanimity in hindu muslim and christian. It’s a state where a large number of inter caste, inter religion marriages happen. The state with so much greenry and wildlife, only because the people understand this and deal with this everyday

    • If you cared to read the article carefully, you’d know we have not asserted either way. We have dispassionately mentioned the stretch of the park, mentioning both the districts. The way you have taken pains to explain your case, you come across as an interested party in the dispute.

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