A seven-member gang involved in removing a pair of tusks from the carcass of an elephant in T.N. Palayam Forest Range of Sathyamangalam Division in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and attempting to sell them were arrested by the Forest Department here on Friday.
The range office received information that a few villagers were involved in smuggling tusks and special teams were formed to nab the accused. The team spotted T. Prabhu Kumar (37) of Karumbarai and T. Ramasamy (39) of Sandhiyapalayam, on a two-wheeler with a bag containing tusks.
Inquiries revealed that P. Marisamy (48) of Kambanur Colony, K. Kumar (42) and M. Masanan (43), both from Vilankombai tribal settlement, found the carcass a year ago in the settlement area and removed the tusks and kept them in a secret place. P. Chandran (42) and C. Ravichandran (36), both from Karumbarai, asked Marisamy whether tusks were available for sale.
Marisamy told the duo that tusks were available and offered to sell them. He handed over the tusks to Chandran and Ravichandran who asked Prabhu Kumar and Ramasamy to hide them. When the duo was taking the tusks to hide, they were caught by the Forest Department. A case was registered. They were produced in the court and lodged in prison.