Peramangalam Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran, an elephant banned from public ceremonies by the Kerala High Court, turned violent during a ceremony at the Rayamangalam Koottumadam temple, near Perumbavoor, around 6 p.m. on Sunday, killing three women and injuring 20 persons, one being a child.
The elephant attacked Mattathil Naani, 65; Indira, 60; and Thankamma from Okkal during the temple ceremonies, and the three lost their lives. Thankamma was brought to a hospital in Kochi, but could not be saved.
The injured have been admitted to hospitals near Rayamangalam and Perumbavoor.
The District Collector has ordered an inquiry by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Muvattupuzha, into the incident. A senior forest official said a Forest Department team had been on the temple site and the animal had been brought under control without the use of sedative darts.
Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran, among the seven elephants taking part in the ceremony, reportedly turned violent while the Thidambu was being dismounted after a procession and knocked down another elephant, Kalakuthan Kannan.
Ramachandran, over 45 years old, the tallest in the State and blind, had killed seven people and two elephants since 1979, when it was brought to Kerala from Bihar. In 2009, the elephant killed a woman at the Ernakulam Siva Temple and was banned from public ceremonies.