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The 62-year-old former forest watcher's journey of atonement started on June 3, 2015, when he told a group of officials how he was part of the gang that killed over 20 elephants in two years.

Jeemon Jacob
India Today, October 13, 2016 

Elephant poachingAround 14 people from Kuttampuzha have been arrested since August 2015 in some 18 elephant poaching cases.

The worst is over, feels Kunjumon Devasey. Out on bail on August 25, after a year in judicial custody and jail, the whistleblower in what was Kerala's, perhaps India's, biggest elephant poaching case, is trying to lead a quiet life in his remote village, Kalarikudi, bordering the Idamalayar forests in Ernakulam district. He's still an accused in 16 poaching cases, his wife is mentally not all there, but the man has no regrets about exposing the poaching syndicate. "I've no future but my conscience was killing me. It had to be done," he says.

The 62-year-old former forest watcher's journey of atonement started on June 3, 2015, when he walked into the Karimbani range office (under Ernakulam district's Malayatoor forest division) and told a group of stunned officials how he had, on various occasions, accompanied a group of poachers, headed by 'Ikkara' Vasu, and killed over 20 elephants in Vazhachal, Thundathil, Munnar and Parambikulam wildlife sanctuaries in a span of two years.

Deputy range officer K.P. Sunil Kumar thought the man had gone crazy in his old age and even advised him to "go and see a psychiatrist". But Kunjumon stuck to his guns, and the names and mobile numbers he came up with were of known offenders in the area (though most were thought to be 'inactive').



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