Forest staff, poachers exchange fire

Forest staff, poachers exchange fire

A poacher is said to have been injured during Saturday’s exchange of fire between Forest officials and a gang of poachers in Palar forests of Kollegal taluk.

Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Vasudeva Murthy said on Monday that a team of forest officials has began a probe into the incident after collecting more information from the informers.

On Saturday, ACF Vasudeva Murthy, Range Forest Officer Madesh and four other personnel got wind of the presence of the poachers in the forest and chased them. Meanwhile, the poachers, said to be numbering more than 30, encountered a herd of wild elephants and emerged from their hideout. The forest officials opened seven rounds of fire on them and the poachers retaliated. However, the rifle with the forest officer got locked and they had to run for cover.

The forest officials continued the combing operation on Sunday with reinforcements at which time the poachers fired at them. However, the intruders took to their heels after the forest officials overpowered them.

The samples of the blood stains at the spot have been collected to verify whether they are of humans or of animals.

District Forest Officer Javed Mumtaz said that a report has been submitted to higher authorities proposing a joint operation with the police.