Tamil Nadu

Three arrested for poaching in reserve forests near Vellore

Forest Department officials with the two persons arrested in the Pallalakuppam Reserve Forest.

Forest Department officials with the two persons arrested in the Pallalakuppam Reserve Forest. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Three persons were arrested in two separate incidents of poaching in the reserve forests near Vellore. Fresh deer meat, hide and antlers, a country-made gun and two-wheelers were seized from them.

Forest officials said a five-member team, including three forest guards, was on routine patrol in the Karuthamalai Reserve Forest in the Odugathur Forest Range along Jawadhu Hills in Vellore when they noticed five men in the forest around 5 a.m. They managed to nab one of them, who had a country-made gun and the head and antlers of a spotted deer. The four others escaped.

“Before being caught, they shared the meat among themselves. They had two bullets, one of which was used to kill the animal and the other was seized by us,” D. Saravanan, Forest Range Officer (Odugathur Range), told The Hindu.

Initial inquiries revealed that P. Bhakiyaraj, 36, who was arrested, P. Venkatesan, 38, K. Parthiban, 39, C. Anbu, 65, and M. Jayaraj, 55, were from Theertham Village near Anaicut. The village is located on the fringes of the reserve forest. They worked as masons and wage labourers.

The main accused, Bhakiyaraj, procured the gun from Kerala for hunting small animals. The group was roaming the forest for the past few days when he allegedly killed a spotted deer and shared the meat with the others. A case has been filed against them, the officials said.

In another incident, a forest team, led by forest range officer L. Sankaraiah and forester P. Hari, caught two persons skinning a one-year-old female spotted deer while patrolling the extension of the Pallalakuppam Reserve Forest. They nabbed the duo and seized 10 kg of deer meat, hide, knives and a two-wheeler from them.

The duo was identified as M. Santhosh, 29, and R. Elumalai, 28, both residents of hamlets located near the reserve forest. They were roaming the forest when they saw the injured deer and decided to take its meat. A case has been filed by the officials of the Pernambut Forest Range.

Spotted deer, wild boars, sloth bears, leopards and elephants are common in the reserve forests of Vellore, Pernambut and Gudiyatham as these ranges share their border with Andhra Pradesh, which has thickly wooded forest areas. This allows the wild animals to move freely without any human disturbance. However, unlike the Gudiyatham range, which is heavily guarded due to red sanders smuggling and movement of elephants, poaching is prevalent in these ranges, officials said.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2022 9:18:55 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/three-arrested-for-poaching-in-reserve-forests-near-vellore/article65410240.ece