Cases booked against 21 for trekking without nod

Released on bail; body of Bangalore student who drowned traced

Police arrested 21 people, including 13 students of an engineering college in Bangalore, on Monday for trekking in the Kabbinale reserve forest of the Western Ghats, without prior permission from the Forest department.

Eight engineers who had come to the forest from Bangalore for trekking have also been arrested. All the 21 were produced before the court and released on bail.

A 14-member team of students from BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore had entered the Kabbinale forest from the Gundiya area on Saturday.

While frolicking in the river, one of the students, Naveen Kumar, had fallen into the river and drowned. Naveen’s body was traced by 15 expert swimmers at 1.30 pm on Monday, 48 hours after he drowned.

Cases were registered on charges of violating Section 24 of the Forest Act, 1963, against the other members of the students’ team - Avinash, Likhith, Akash, Abhay Keerthi, Amit, Avinash, Swapnil, Prarthana Narendra, Prarthana, Hema, Sharanya, Swaroop and Naveen.

Another team
When the police went inside the forest to bring these students in a vehicle, they found another team of eight engineers who had begun their trekking at Byrapura in Mudigere taluk. The engineers had reached Byrapura by vehicle and had trekked to Kabbinale from there.

They were to return in the vehicle which was supposed to pick them up at Jagundiya. Cases have been registered against software engineers Srikanth, Basavaraj Gowdar, V Deepu, Chaitanya, Surendranath, Sampath Kumar, Dakshinamurthy and Siddalingeshwara. They were produced before the civil judge of the junior court.

The students and the engineers were released after they deposited Rs 2,000 and furnished a bond of Rs 5,000 each.

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