BENGALURU: In a major breakthrough for the state Forest Department, a group of six regular hunters were arrested by Halgur range officials recently in connection with the killing of a scheduled species in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS).
This protected area is known for gangs of meat poachers and hunters and regular killings of prey species and even elephants for the last decade.
Two to three cases of hunting of deer, boar and other species each month are common in CWS with poachers killing and escaping to neighbouring Tamil Nadu after committing the crime.
With forest staff on the lookout for this group — who were also involved in poaching at Byadarahalli last year — the department stumbled on these six offenders in Basavabetta Reserve Forest, Byadarahalli again, Dodda Arrekallu forest area.
The arrested are Raju, 38, of Bettagowdanadoddi, Kanakapura; Cheluvaraju, 30, of Kanakpura, and Madegowda, 63, Jagadish, 25, Ramesh, 42, and Girish, 32 — all from Byadarahalli near Halagur in Malvalli taluk. They had in their possession three guns, two vehicles, torches and a deer carcass — all of which were seized from two houses near Siddegowda’s Estate.
According to officials, they have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act and Indian Arms Act.
Investigations are on to get details of the modus operandi in killing of scheduled species.
This group was also involved in a poaching incident in Byadarahalli last year. However, Raju was involved in the killing of an elephant in Bilekal State Forest at Karigudda plantations in 2008.
Wildlife Activist Shankar opines that since CWS is struggling to contain hunting incidents, it is very important to deny bail to habitual offenders.