In an unfortunate incident, a 46-year-old mahout was killed by an elephant at a temple in Trichy. The incident happened at Samayapuram Mariamman temple in Tamil Nadu on Friday morning. Masini, the temple elephant crushed its mahout, Gjaendran inside the temple in front of devotees. People were moving towards the sanctum sanctorum when the incident happened.
The Times of India quoted Trichy superintendent of police, Zia Ul Haq as saying, "The elephant was brought to the temple at 10.50am by the mahout and tied with a chain. In next 10 minutes, the elephant turned violent. The elephant pushed him to the ground and trampled him with its legs."
Devotees started to run helter-skelter as the incident happened, trying to protect themselves. Two police and a child was injured in the chaos, police said. Temple authorities have cancelled darshan for the day and people are not allowed inside the temple.
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As a safety measure, the temple employees closed the gates of the area to prevent any further rampage. A video on the incident is doing rounds on the internet. The clips show the elephant trampling its mahout multiple times.
To control Masini, the forest department officials brought a Kumki elephant. The elephant is still inside the temple. The Samayapuram police have taken up the investigation.
There have been innumerable incidents of elephants trampling their mahouts to death in South India. Elephants are an integral part of temple celebrations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. One of Kerala's famous Gururvayur temple has more than 60 elephants. Thrissur Pooram, an annual Hindu temple festival held in Kerala witness parade of elephants which is core tradition of it.