Staff Correspondent

Ten search teams comb Shiradi Ghat forest area

HASSAN: More than 200 policemen entered the Shiradi Ghat forest area on Saturday along with forest officials and local people to search for the missing trekkers from Bangalore but their efforts failed. Ten teams were involved in the search.

Deputy Commissioner K.H. Ashwathanarayana Gowda, Superintendent of Police, Panduranga H. Rane, Additional Superintendent of Police, Thammiah and Deputy Conservator of Forests, K.H. Nagaraja also participated in the operation.

Camping near Chamundeshwari Temple at Maranahalli Gate, they supervised the combing operation. They also summoned doctors as a precautionary measure.

Armed with guns, clubs and sickles to clear the road, the search teams entered the forest from Maranahalli gate.

According to Mr. Rane, despite their extensive search, they could not trace V. Tejamurthy, of Adventure Trekking Association of Bangalore, Vasanth Kumar, a hardware engineer and Bhaskar Babu, who came to trek in the Shiradi Ghat part of Western Ghats.

Mr. Shivakumar, brother of Tejamurthy, who registered a complaint with the police, said that the three trekkers left their vehicle near Chamundeshwari temple near Maranahalli and entered the forest on May 28.

Four teams comprising police, forest officials and trekkers from Bangalore, combed the forest area for three days. Rain, fog and Aane hullu (big grass) had obstructed the operation.

Rain, fog pose problems

A senior police official said that it was not easy to comb the dense forest in the rain and fog. He said the police were studying the background of the missing trekkers and decided to question their relatives in detail.

A team might leave for Bangalore for the purpose soon, he added.