Three members of poaching gang apprehended by forest officials in the Nilgiris


The Forest Department has secured three persons, who are part of an eight-member poaching gang, who shot and killed an gaur for its meat in the Kundah forest range, near the Kattery Dam, on October 19.

In a statement, District Forest Officer (Nilgiris division), S. Gowtham, said that the gaur was found to have been shot and killed in the Kundah forest range, following which investigation into the incident was initiated.

During the course of the investigation, which involved teams checking the CCTV footage from the area, investigators came across footage of two cars in the vicinity of the shooting spot.

A special team was formed to track the two vehicles, and a few days later, one of the cars was spotted during vehicle check. The driver fled leaving the car behind in Gudalur. The car was seized and the owner of the vehicle was traced using vehicle records.

The team found that the accused were absconding and were hiding in various parts of Kerala, Karnataka and Gudalur, and with the help of the Nilgiris district police, attempts were made to trace them.

Three of the accused, identified as Shibu, from Dharmagiri, Satheesh and Suresh, from Manvayal, all from Gudalur, were caught after they attempted to flee from the Forest Department staff, and suffered injuries, officials said. Two more cars were seized from the accused, while five are currently absconding.

Forest officials stated that Shibu was the main shooter in the incident. The group is also believed to have poached a Sambar deer in Glenmorgan, near Udhagamandalam, a few years ago, and forest officials are continuing investigations as to whether the group was involved in other poaching and hunting cases.

When contacted, Conservator of Forests (Nilgiris), D. Venkatesh, said that the accused are all based out of Gudalur, and in particular O’Valley where the department has been strengthened vigil following reports of poachers operating out of the area. The gang is said to be hunting wildlife and selling meat to buyers in Gudalur, as well as parts of Kerala and Karnataka.

“The department has almost completed the construction of five watch towers and anti-poaching sheds in the O’Valley area. The increase in security has led to this group moving into the Nilgiris forest division to continue their poaching activities. However, we are now strengthening our monitoring in this division too, with real-time surveillance already taking place,” said Mr. Venkatesh.

“The department’s special team, including an officer of the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forests (Headquarters), as well as the Kil Kotagiri and Kundah forest rangers were assisted by the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Crime Control Bureau team, who were instrumental in tracking and nabbing the accused,” said Mr. Venkatesh.


Mohd Aman

Editor in Chief Approved by Indian Government

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