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Elephant runs amok in Meerut, damages over 20 vehicles

Meerut, Feb 25 (IANS) A male elephant, kept on display at the marriage reception of the children of two Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MPs, ran amok, attacking and damaging 20 cars, a truck and a police jeep before it was brought under control, police said Thursday.

According to police, three elephants were on a display at the wedding reception BSP Rajya Sabha member Munquad Ali’s daughter, who married the son of Kadir Rana, the party’s MP from Muzaffarnagar, here Wednesday night.

Around 10.30 p.m, the male elephant turned violent and started attacking the parked cars of the guests, before moving towards the lawn where the guests were. But then it changed track to another side where a welcome gate was erected. It destroyed the gate and moved towards the parking lot where it flipped over about 20 cars.

As a truck passed on the road, the elephant ran towards it and hit it, toppling it into a road side ditch. The elephant then moved towards a police jeep and rammed it from the front, while the driver and the other policemen narrowly escaped being seriously injured or beign trampled upon by the tusker.

When police realised that the elephant was out of control, they informed forest officials.

Meerut Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Lalit Kumar said authorities in the state capital were informed and wildlife expert Utkarsh Shukla sent to Meerut in a special plane.

In the meantime, help of wildlife NGO, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), was also sought, and one of its officials rushed to Meerut and tranquilised the elephant, bringing it under control at about 4.00 a.m Thursday.

‘The elephant was in ‘mast’ (in rutting stage). It happens once a year and in normal course, it kills its mahaut but in this case, he escaped at the very beginning, leaving the elephant abandoned,’ said WTI’s N.V.K. Asraf, who tranquilised the elephant.

‘We have registered a case under the Wildlife Protection Act against the elephant’s owner, Kamal Singh, a resident of Bulandshahr, and he has been arrested. He failed to provide papers of ownership,’ Partapur police station inspector Baljit Singh said.

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