Arali Plant Claims Lives Again: Cow and Calf Die in Pathanamthitta

The Arali plant has claimed yet another life, this time a cow and a calf in Pathanamthitta. The tragic incident occurred when the leaves of the Arali plant were mistakenly mixed with fodder and ingested by Pankajavalli Amma’s cow and calf at Thengamam Manju Bhavanam. Initially, mistaking the symptoms for indigestion, Pankajavalliamma sought medication from a nearby veterinary hospital. However, upon her return, she discovered the calf had already died. Despite administering medication, the cow also succumbed the following day.

Upon investigation by a livestock inspector, suspicions were raised about a nearby plant, leading to a post-mortem examination conducted by the veterinary department of Pallipuram Panchayat. The examination confirmed that the cause of death was indeed the accidental ingestion of Arali leaves.

This incident follows a recent fatality involving Surya Surendran in Haripad, who collapsed and died at the Nedumbassery airport after ingesting Arali. Preliminary findings suggest that the consumption of Arali flowers or leaves led to his demise, with poison detected in the Arali plant by the Forest Research Center.

In response to such incidents, the use of Arali flowers for offerings and prasada pujas in Kerala temples has been widely restricted. President PS Prashanth clarified that although no official ban has been imposed on the flower, Arali flowers are not used for Nivedya Pujas in temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board.

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