Police bust ivory gang involving DMK leader

Police bust ivory gang involving DMK leader

The Mahalakshmi Layout police recovered elephant tusks from poachers in Tamil Nadu.

The city police busted an ivory poaching and selling racket and arrested a gang of six, including a DMK leader from Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday.

The gang, allegedly led by the leader, was involved in inter-state wildlife poaching and trade from the forest fringes bordering Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The police have seized 12 pieces of tusks from the accused, which they had stored in their natives Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu.

Based on a tip-off, a team of Mahalakshmi Layout police, posing as prospective buyers approached Naveen and Prakash from Dhamapuri and Krishnagiri, respectively, and clinched a deal. The two came to the city with four tusks to deliver when the police team surrounded them and caught them red-handed.

Based on their information, a team of police officers, led by inspector B N Lohith, went to Krishnagiri and raided the house of Khader Basha and three of his associates, and recovered eight more tusks.

Preliminary inquiries revealed that Basha is a member of the DMK in his native and resisted police inquiry by gathering a strong mob that protested against police high-handedness.

The situation threatened to get out of control when the mob surrounded the police and threatened to attack them if they did not leave their leader alone. The police sought the help of their Tamil Nadu counterparts, who rushed to the spot with additional force and dispersed the agitated mob to help the city police arrest Basha and his associates Javed, Shabarinath and Sathish Kumar, and seized eight more tusks.

According to a police press release, the accused were brought to the city and taken into custody for further investigation.

The police said Basha is the kingpin of the racket, who had a gang to poach wildlife for him. He would store wildlife items and sell them to clients. The booty will then be shared among the gang members. They said Basha and his associates stacked up more wildlife trophies at their hideouts, but it was difficult to recover them as local residents supported the DMK leader.