Indian politician and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi is all praises for north Kerala’s Malappuram district for helping save passengers during the Air India Express crash at Calicut International Airport.
This comes after Gandhi slammed the district and its people after a pregnant elephant died by eating a pineapple filled with explosives.
The 15-year-old wild elephant died at the edge of the Silent Valley National Park in May, and the post-mortem revealed that she was pregnant with a two-month-old foetus.
Gandhi had gone on record stating that this occurred in Malappuram, a thickly populated Muslim-majority district. However, it happened in Palakkad district.
Gandhi, targeting the state government said, "Malappuram is known for its intense criminal activity specially with regards to animals. No action has ever been taken against a single poacher or wildlife killer so they keep doing it".
"Look at the crime rate in Malappuram. Communal conflicts are highest there. Malappuram is perhaps the most disturbed district in the country. Every day there is some incident or the other there. They have killed so many women they create Hindu-Muslim tensions, chop off people's arms," India Today quoted Gandhi.
"The situation in Malappuram is very scary. It seems as if the Kerala government is scared of Malappuram because it does not take any action. The weakest people in the administration are sent to Malappuram," she said.
Now, responding to a letter by Abbas Vadakkan, general secretary of the Morayur panchayat branch of the Muslim Youth League, Maneka wrote back, “Yes, a wonderful job was done by the people of Malappuram to help the plane crash survivors. I hope this kind of humanity towards all beings takes place.”
Maneka Gandhi is at present a Lok Sabha member from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier this month, an Air India Vande Bharat flight skidded while landing at Karipur Airport in Kerala's Kozhikode, claiming 18 lives including the pilot, Captain DV Sathe, and co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar. Several others were injured.
Without waiting for the institutional rescue operations to commence (which took a little while to organise), the local residents collected at the accident site and began extricating the injured from the wreckage and transferring them to various hospitals in auto-rickshaws, cars and any other private vehicles that they could access.
By the time the fire brigade and disaster management personnel arrived with the ambulances and other paraphernalia, some of the injured had already been taken to hospitals. People also lined up along the route offering to donate blood and providing help in whatever way possible.
According to the report, major credit to save passengers goes to the ordinary people of Malappuram.