Sabarimala pilgrim killed in elephant attack

Sabarimala pilgrim killed in elephant attack

Sabarimala pilgrim killed in elephant attack

A 30-year-old man was killed in an elephant attack in the trekking path leading to the Lord Ayyappa Temple in early hours on Monday. The deceased was identified as R Nitesh Kumar, a resident of Chennai.

Kumar was attacked at about 1.30 am on Monday, while he was on a break from his uphill trek on the traditional forest path. He was part of a group of 19 pilgrims travelling from Erumely towards Pampa, on their way to the hill shrine, a police official said.

Preliminary reports said Kumar had drifted off the group near Karimala, where the elephant attacked him. "He is learnt to have briefly left the other group members and was heading for a shop when he spotted a herd of elephants on his path. One of the elephants wrapped its trunk around him and hurled him," a police official in Pampa told DH. Kumar died while he was being taken to the government hospital in Pampa.

Pilgrims who opt for the traditional path from Erumely to the sanctum sanctorum – passing through Kaalaketti, Azhutha, Karimala and Pampa – take up an arduous trek. Partial restrictions have been implemented on the path due to the movement of wild elephants, especially in the Karimala region.

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