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Cong MLA Kuzhalnadan Taken Into Custody Over Protest Against Human-Animal Conflicts In Kerala

The protest was sparked by the surge in human-animal conflicts in the state, particularly following the death of an elderly woman in an elephant attack earlier on Monday in Idukki district.

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Congress MLA arrested in connection with alleged untoward incidents
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Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan and Ernakulam District Congress Committee president Mohammed Shiyas have been taken into custody by the police in connection with alleged untoward incidents during a protest in Kerala's Kothamangalam on Monday, police said.

The protest was sparked by the surge in human-animal conflicts in the state, particularly following the death of an elderly woman in an elephant attack earlier on Monday in Idukki district.

A police official, without elaborating, confirmed that Kuzhalnadan and Shiyas have been taken into custody in connection with the untoward incidents during the protest in Kothamangalam. Kuzhalnadan, who led the protest, said his arrest has been recorded. He said both of them were taken into custody from a protest venue in Kothamangalam.

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He said his arrest was made under sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, and Kerala Health Workers' Act. "Some of these provisions are non-bailable. The police have indicated that we will be produced before the magistrate soon," he told PTI.

Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, upon hearing about the police action, began a sit-in protest in Kothamangalam town.

Chennithala told PTI that Kuzhalnadan and Shiyas were taken into custody and that Congress party workers were "subjected to lathi charges" by the police in Kothamangalam.

Earlier on Monday, Kothamangalam witnessed a strong protest led by Kuzhalnadan and Idukki MP Dean Kuriakose, joined by hundreds of local people. They refused to hand over the body of the elephant-attack victim, Indira Ramakrishnan, for post-mortem.

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A scuffle broke out with the police during the protest, with the protesters chanting 'Police go back'. The body was reportedly forcibly taken from the mortuary for the protest, leading to heated exchanges between the police and the leaders.

The 70-year-old woman died in the wild elephant attack in the Kanjiraveli area under the Adimali police station limits on Monday morning. She was trampled by the elephant while serving breakfast for her husband in a rubber plantation near the forest area.

Despite being rushed to a nearby hospital in Kothamangalam, she succumbed to her injuries.

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