Kumble bowls googly, squad takes the catch

The three-member gang arrested by Bangalore’s Forest Mobile Squad on Tuesday for supplying meat of wild animals to dhabas in Bagepalli. dh photo

Three persons have been arrested in this connection. The squad has recovered a black buck and a wild cat from them.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, the FMS arrested Nagaraj, Sudhakar and Manjunath, who were supplying meat of wild animals to dhabas in Bagepalli of Kolar district.
The poachers are all from tribal communities. Among the three, Manjunath is the middleman and works in a dhaba near Bagepalli.

The month-long operation began following a tip off by Kumble, who is also the Vice President of the State Wildlife Board. The FMS team headed by K B Manjunath, Deputy Conservator of Forests of FMS, undertook the operation after meticulous planning.

“We were told by Kumar Pushkar, Conservator of Forests, who had been alerted by Kumble, that wildlife meat was sold openly in Bagepalli and other places. We went posing as customers and won their trust saying that we have a club in Bangalore, which hosts special parties. We told  them that meat, preferably of wild animals, was served to our members and they took the bait,” said Manjunath.

The squad spent a lot of money to win the trust of the poachers. Finally, they told the squad members about the black buck in their possession. “We told them to deliver the meat in Bangalore. They came upto Kogulur near Yelahanka and waited for us to collect it, before landing in our trap,” he explained.

Manjunath said, with sale of meat of wild animals being a big business in Bagepalli, the poachers had been regularly supplying meat of hare, black buck, partridges, monitor lizard and some cats. “People from Bangalore go there (Bagepalli) only to consume the meat,” he said. Black buck and monitor lizard are listed in Schedule One of the Wildlife Act.

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