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Karnataka: Negligence of forest officials led to Captain Arjuna elephant's death?

Captain Arjuna's tragic death during a forest capture sparks mourning and doubt. Plans for state honours and a funeral emerge amid uncertainty about the events leading to his demise. Speculation and allegations swirl, prompting demands for a thorough investigation into the operation and accountability from the forest department.

Karnataka: Negligence of forest officials led to Captain Arjuna elephant's death? vkp
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First Published Dec 5, 2023, 2:30 PM IST

The tragic demise of Captain Arjuna, the elephant, an esteemed figure who had claimed victory at the world-renowned Mysore Dasara Ambari eight times consecutively, has plunged the entire state into mourning. Arjuna met his fate during a forest capture operation, an event now shrouded in uncertainty, prompting widespread grief and a flurry of doubts regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.

Amidst the sombre atmosphere, plans are underway to honour Arjuna with full state honours, culminating in a funeral following traditional rituals conducted by the revered priests of the Mysore Palace. Yet, lingering questions persist about the events leading to Arjuna's demise, casting shadows of doubt on the operation that claimed his life.

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Speculation abounds regarding the sequence of events during the forest capture operation near Balekere in Sakaleshpur taluk of Hassan district. Rumours swirl about a fatal shot fired during the operation, leading to Arjuna's loss of strength and subsequent vulnerability during an attack. Eyewitness accounts, notably from an elephant mahout present at the site, have sparked uncertainty regarding the circumstances of the purported gunshot wound to Arjuna's leg.

Allegations have emerged suggesting critical errors in the operation's execution, pointing fingers at the forest department for miscalculated decisions and procedural mishaps. Reports suggest a misfire during the administration of medication to Arjuna, exacerbating the already precarious situation, and ultimately leading to his tragic demise.

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Amidst mounting pressures for a thorough investigation into the incident, tensions escalate at the site where Arjuna's elephant met its untimely end. Protests ensue, demanding a comprehensive inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Captain Arjuna's death. Calls for immediate suspension of implicated officials and a transfer of the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) intensified in the face of public outrage.

Local sentiments echo a growing belief that the forest department's alleged negligence played a pivotal role in Arjuna's demise. Anger simmers among the populace, denouncing the use of aged forests for such operations and demanding accountability for the tragic loss. The community mourns the passing of Arjuna, a 63-year-old beloved icon, amidst fervent appeals for justice and a thorough probe into the incident.

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