SABARIMALA: As many as 11 persons were injured after the temple elephant ran amok at Appachimedu, on the trekking path between Sanidhanam and Pampa, at 10 am on Friday. The priest, Vineet Kumar, 37, who was holding the ‘thidambu’ atop elephant Krishnakumar, has been admitted to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital with injuries. His condition is stated to be stable and improving.

The mahout of the elephant suffered a fracture to his leg when he tried to keep the elephant under control.
Those who suffered injuries include civil police officer Arun; Chandrasekharan of Nagarcovil; Krishnakumar of Kayamkulam; Chandrasekahar Rao of Vijayawada; Reghuram of Andhra; Pradeep Kumar of Kayamkulam; Sudhishkumar of Chirayankeezhu, and Udayakumar of Thakazhi.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has urged the authorities to conduct a ‘devaprasnam’ into the incident in which the ‘thidambu’ fell off the elephant, injuring the devotees.VHP leader V R Rajasekharan also flayed the Devaswom authorities for engaging the elephant, which had caused problems on the previous day of ‘kodiyettu’ on March 21, to carry the “thidambu” of Lord Ayyappa on the arattu day on Friday.

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