Missing techie found dead

Twenty-four-year-old Satwik Shastry, who went missing on a trek in the Ragihalli forest range near Bannerghatta on Saturday evening, was found dead amid the bushes in the forest on Monday afternoon. The body bore signs of injuries.

Forest officials carry the body of Satwik near Annayana Doddi, the spot where he was attacked by a tusker at the Bannerghatta Reserve Forest in Bangalore on Monday.

Considering the injuries and the scene of sighting, senior forest officials have concluded that Satwik had been victim of an attack by a tusker. The body was retrieved from the forest around 2pm. It was later subjected to an autopsy at Anekal Government Hospital.

Satwik’s body was found in a bush almost in the heart of the dense forest at a place called Annayyana Doddi.

Bannerghatta Sub-Inspector Vishwanath, who led one of the search teams that found the body, told Deccan Herald that they found the first clue, a slipper near a bush. “We searched the surrounding area and found the body in a dense obscure bush,” he said.

Viswanath said Satwik’s right leg was broken and crushed and there was a severe injury on the right side of the head. His left arm also had a severe tear. “We could definitely say by the look of it that Satwik died of a tusker attack,” he said.

A forest official said the searchers had also spotted signs of rampaging among trees by an elephant close by. Residents at Ragihalli reported spotting a lone tusker near a mosque in the area Saturday afternoon. Some of them told Deccan Herald that the elephant had chased two men riding a bike.
“It is possible that the same tusker attacked Satwik.  It lost its right eye to an injury sometime ago and is blind on the right. Since the injury, it has turned dangerous,” the forest official said.

The search for Satwik resumed on Monday morning, with forest officials from the Harohalli range and about 70 volunteers from local villages joining the team. They beat a drum and burst crackers to drive elephants away. Searchers sighted a herd of 18 elephants crossing the road from the forest in which Satwik had gone missing.

Later, about 150 people, including forest and police officials and local villagers, divided into 10 groups, entered the forest from various entry points.

Satwik’s parents were waiting on the Ragihalli hillock for the word. Around 1:40 pm, they spotted a column of smoke from almost the centre of the forest range,  a signal for the rest that his body was found.

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