HASSAN: During a hot pursuit of a gang involved in sandalwood smuggling, forest personnel on night patrol at T.D. Gudda forest of Salagame Hobli in Hassan shot dead a smuggler early Wednesday, while his accomplices escaped.
The deceased has been identified as Manje Gowda, a resident of Halebeedu in Hassan, and the incident reportedly occurred between 12.30 am and 1 am.
Manje sustained bullet injuries on his back and side and collided with a tree while trying to escape. He then collapsed and died. His accomplices escaped under cover of darkness.
Hassan Superintendent of Police Rahul Kumar and Deputy Conservator of Forests, Hassan, Manjunath visited the spot. The police recovered a mobile phone, which helped establish the dead smuggler’s identity.
During patrol duty forest guards and watchers came across a gang operating in the forest area. Their use of flash light drew the attention of the forest personnel.
On noticing the approaching forest personnel, the gang armed with sticks and axes, began to hurl stones at them. In retaliation, forest personnel opened fire with a double barrel gun and a gang members was killed.
Manjunath told Deccan Chronicle, “Some other members of the gang might also have been hit by bullets.” The gang had chopped off about 150 sandalwood trees a day before the forest personnel got an alert about smuggling in the area....