Kerala nun allowed to kill wild boars
by Nirmala Carvalho

Sister Jophy Jose, superior of the convent of the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel, went before the High Court with other farmers because animals are destroying their crops. “We could not keep silent,” she said.

Kochi (AsiaNews) – The Kerala High Court granted 12 farmers, including a Carmelite nun, the right to kill the wild boars that are devasting their crop fields.

Sister Jophy Jose is the protagonist of this unusual ruling. She is the superior of the convent of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, a Syro-Malabar religious institute of the Carmelite family, in Kozhikode district.

The convent is surrounded by four acres of land, where the nuns grow nutmeg, tapioca and potatoes; but the harvest is increasingly compromised by wild boars, to the point that the herds have become permanent in the area.

“I am not a gun owner with a licence or a trained shooter,” the nun said. “I went to court with other farmers for the sole purpose of putting a stop to this threat that has been undermining our efforts of years.”

Sister Jophy Jose comes from a farming family in Iritty, Kannur district. She and her fellow Sisters have tried to defend the nutmeg plants by building a fence around them, but the tapioca crop was largely destroyed.

Farmers raised the issue with the authorities but the Kerala Department of Forests downplayed the problem.

This led to their appeal before the High Court, which authorises them to use “every means” to end the threat.

“We could not keep silent after working so hard to make the plants grow and water them,” the nun explained. “Farming the land has now become impossible as long as wild boars remain.”