December 10, 2017
Kochi: A 37-year-old mahout Subhash was gored to death by an elephant Krishna during ‘Sheeveli’ ritual inside the Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayur on Sunday.
Twelve others suffered injuries in the incident in the morning when two other elephants Gopikannan and Ravikrishna also got annoyed and ran helter skelter.
The priest who was sitting on top of Gopikannan holding ‘thidambu’, the idol, narrowly escaped when he jumped down near the Devi temple.
Ravikrishna was tamed easily but it was tough to chain Gopikannan, temple sources said.
After attacking Subhash, Krishna sprinted into the godown inside the temple from where it was chained. It was during second circumambulation of the temple when Krishna attacked Subhas near Ayyappa temple. He was rushed to Amala Hospital but could not be saved.
Later, cleaning rituals were conducted before the temple was opened for the devotees.
The temple authorities have come in for severe criticism for using rogue elephant ‘Krishna’ for sheeveli particularly during a busy day like Sunday.
The elephant had attacked a temple staff several years back who luckily survived the attack. It had also created panic during an elephant race held in the temple some years back.