Archive for ‘Karnataka’

10/02/2019

‘Oldest known elephant in captivity’ dies at 88 in India

Dakshayani, an elephant that died in February 2019 aged 88Image copyrightSTR/AFP/GETTY
Image captionDakshayani, pictured here in 2016, lived at the Chengalloor Mahadeva Temple in southern Kerala state

Dakshayani, thought to be the world’s oldest elephant in captivity, has died at the age of 88 in India.

Given the title Gaja Muthassi or elephant granny, Dakshayani took part in temple rituals and processions at the Chengalloor Mahadeva Temple in the southern state of Kerala.

But her vet said the elephant stopped taking food and died on Tuesday.

Keepers started feeding her pineapples and carrots in recent years after she began to have trouble moving around.

She had not taken part in any public event for several years.

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which runs the temple where she lived, says she was the oldest elephant in captivity and estimated her age at 88.

However, the current Guinness World Record holder for oldest elephant in captivity is Lin Wang.

The Asian elephant died at a zoo in Taiwan in 2003 aged 86, and served with the British Army in World War Two.

Another elephant, Indira, died in India’s Karnataka state in 2017 and was reportedly aged “between 85 and 90”.

Dakshayani, an elephant that died in February 2019 aged 88Image copyrightSTR/AFP/GETTY
Image captionThe elephant took part in temple rituals and processions

India has more than 2,400 elephants in captivity.

The former Travancore Devaswom Board president told AFP news agency that Dakshayani was well-treated.

“Due to various practical constraints, we could not let her loose, but instead ensured that she had more than enough space to move around,” he said.

However conservationists say many elephants suffer in poor conditions.

UK-based group Action for Elephants says around 800 elephants are held in Indian temples, particularly in Kerala state, and live in “generally abysmal living conditions”.

Media captionIndia’s first elephant hospital is run by the charity Wildlife SOS

Source: The BBC

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21/01/2019

Karnataka seer Shivakumara Swami dies; PM Modi, dignitaries pay tributes

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also expressed his condolences on Twitter, saying that Shivakumara Swami’s passing has left behind a deep spiritual void.

INDIA Updated: Jan 21, 2019 16:13 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shivakumara Swami,Karnataka,Karnataka seer
Soon after the Shivakumara Swami’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the Swami had lived for the people, especially the poor and vulnerable and expressed his prayers and solidarity with the seer’s devotees around the world.(Twitter/ @narendramodi)

Shivakumara Swami, the 111-year-old revered seer of Karnataka’s Siddaganga Mutt at Tumakuru, died early at 11.44 am on Monday.

The state government has announced a three-day mourning in honour of the seer and has declared Tuesday a statewide holiday, Deputy chie fminister G Parameshwara said soon after announcing the seer’s death.

The Swami, known among his followers as the “Walking God”, was one of the oldest known living persons in India. He was suffering from a lung infection for the past few weeks and was on ventilator for the last 15 days. Over the last few years he had been in and out of the hospitals due to age-related ailments.

Soon after the Swami’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the Swami had lived for the people, especially the poor and vulnerable and expressed his prayers and solidarity with the seer’s devotees around the world.

“HH Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu remained at the forefront of ensuring better healthcare and education facilities for the marginalised. He represents the best of our traditions of compassionate service, spirituality and protecting the rights of the underprivileged,” he said.

“I have had the privilege to visit the Sree Siddaganga Mutt and receive the blessings of His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu. The wide range of community service initiatives being done there are outstanding and are at an unimaginably large scale,” the PMsaid.

President Ramnath Kovind expressed his condolences to the countless followers of the Swami.

“Extremely sad to learn of the passing of spiritual leader Dr Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu Ji. He contributed immensely to society particularly towards healthcare and education. My condolences to his countless followers,” the President tweeted.

President of India

@rashtrapatibhvn

Extremely sad to learn of the passing of spiritual leader Dr Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu Ji. He contributed immensely to society particularly towards healthcare and education. My condolences to his countless followers

406 people are talking about this
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also expressed his condolences on Twitter, saying that the swami’s passing has left behind a deep spiritual void.

Rahul Gandhi

@RahulGandhi

I am sorry to hear about the passing of Shivakumar Swami Ji, Pontiff of the Siddaganga Mutt. Swami Ji was respected & revered by millions of Indians, from all religions & communities. His passing leaves behind a deep spiritual void. My condolences to all his followers.

2,786 people are talking about this
“I am sorry to hear about the passing of Shivakumar Swami Ji, Pontiff of the Siddaganga Mutt. Swami Ji was respected & revered by millions of Indians, from all religions & communities. His passing leaves behind a deep spiritual void. My condolences to all his followers,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Among the last people to call on him were Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy visited the Mutt to enquire about Swami’s health. BS Yeddyurappa, MB Patil, KJ George and Sadananda Gowda were also present.

The Swami was believed by his followers to be an incarnation of the 12th century social reformer Basava. He headed the Sree Siddaganga Education Society, which runs about 125 educational institutions in the state – from engineering colleges to business schools.

Security has been tightened at the Mutt as hundreds of followers gathered, praying for the holy man’s recovery.

Source: Hindustan Times

15/12/2018

Mystery shrouds death of 11 people who consumed temple food in Karnataka

Police confirm that the symptoms of the patients are consistent with poisoning through organophosphate,a common pesticide. Samples of the food have been sent for analysis.

INDIA Updated: Dec 15, 2018 20:16 IST

Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Sulawadi (Karnataka)
temple,prasad,Karnataka
Eleven people died and around 90 are in hospital, with the condition of many, including around 10 children, critical after eating food served at the Kicchugathi Maramma temple. (HT Photo)

A posse of policemen sits in the shade, keeping an eye on the people gathered in front of the unimposing structure of the Kicchugathi Maramma temple. On farmland opposite the temple, three forest officials are trying to manage a crowd gathered to see the carcasses of dead crows, around 20 of them.

This is the scene at Sulawadi, 200 km from Bengaluru, a day after 11 people died after eating food served at the temple. Around 90 are in hospital, with the condition of many, including around 10 children, critical. The crows died when they ate the food that was thrown away. By Saturday afternoon, Sulwadi has become a magnet for people from neighbouring villages.

Police confirm that the symptoms of the patients are consistent with poisoning through organophosphate,a common pesticide. Samples of the food have been sent for analysis.

Japamalai, a former gram panchayat member of the village, which is located 5 km from the Tamil Nadu border, stands at the centre of the clearing in front of the temple, eager to tell all the outsiders about the politics of the village, which he believes is at the heart of the tragedy, and others pitch in to fill the gaps.

According to them, tensions flared up in the village over the control of the temple, highly revered in the area. It is one of the temples that believers of the Om Shakti cult visit on the way to Melmaruvathur in Tamil Nadu, which has traditions much like the Sabarimala temple, including vows of purity that range from one week to 48 days.

Chinnappi, one of five persons taken in for questioning, was the chief trustee of the temple and nurtured ambitions of building a new dome for the temple. This was opposed by Immadi Mahadeva Swamy, “who also wished to have control of the trust”, Japamalai said. Many claim it was this fight that led to one faction adding pesticide in the food.

On Friday, Chinnappi held a small feast for about 100 people as part of a stone laying ceremony for the construction of the new dome. Among those who were present at the time were a large number of Om Shakti devotees who were passing by and decided to partake of the meal.

Around 20 crows died when they ate the food that was thrown away. (HT Photo)

Murugappa, one of the locals, said there was a foul smell in the food, but people continued to eat it. “Only a few of us threw the food away because there is a belief that you can’t refuse temple food.”

The only problem with this conspiracy theory is that the three cooks ate the food and are in hospital. Dharmender Singh Meena, Superintendent of Police for the district, said the three, Eeranna, Lokesh and Puttaswamy are in critical condition in a hospital in Mysuru.

Puttaswamy’s daughter Anita died after consuming the food, he added. “While it is almost certain at this point that there was poisoning we cannot be sure if there was criminal intent involved because the cooks have taken ill,” Meena said.

Indeed, locals at Sulawadi find it hard to understand how the food could have been poisoned. The kitchen is located behind the temple, where the trust has built a shelter for devotees who wished to rest there. All three cooks were on the payroll of the temple trust for years, Japamalai said.

Japamalai and Murugappa said the trouble began around 1 pm when some people complained of feeling sick. “Soon, people were throwing up on the side of the road and others just fell down,” Murugappa said.

About 40 km from Sulawadi, a large group of people have gathered at the government hospital in Hanur town, waiting to collect the body of Shantaraju, a Dalit from nearby Bidarahalli, who was at the temple as part of the Om Shakti devotees’ group.

Nagaraj, Shantaraju’s brother-in-law, asks his other relatives who gathered at the spot to sit down for a flash protest. “We will not leave this place till the accused is produced in front of us and we are allowed to dispense justice,” he says, before the policemen present at the spot calm him down.

Currently, 93 people are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Mysuru, the minister in charge of the district, C Puttarangashetty said. “It is clear that there is foul play involved and we have asked the police to bring the guilty to book at the soonest,” he said. Of the 93, 29 are said to be in a critical condition.

The police are awaiting the results of tests conducted by the forensics lab in Mysuru to see if it throws up any more clues. “At present, we are questioning five people, Chinnappi, Mahadesha, Mahadeva and two others, whose identities cannot be revealed at this moment,” Meena said. “We have sent viscera and food samples to the forensics lab and I personally asked them to expedite the process,” he added.

Karnataka Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the deceased.

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