Kalaburagi: The Chittapur range Forest Department staff apprehended three persons involved in hunting wild animals and smuggling their skins, tusks, hair, shells, and thorns in Chittapur Hill. The arrested hailing from Rampurahalli village in Chittapur taluk, were identified as Hanmantha Helavara, Bhimaraya Helavara, and Mallappa Helavara. A fourth accused, Sayabanna Helavara from Kumbarahalli village, is currently evading capture, and forest officials have initiated efforts to locate and apprehend him.
Acting on specific information regarding the hunting of wild animals in the hills of Chittapur taluk and the illicit trade of animal organs, officials from the Forest Department’s Wildlife Sanctuary conducted a raid in Rampura village near Sannathi. During the operation, authorities discovered a significant quantity of wildlife organs and related items in the homes of the suspects. Seized items included boar shells, porcupine quills, mongoose hair, otter skins, wild boar tusks, spears, bows used for hunting, clutch wires, hunting battery torches with horns, knives, claws, traps, iron rods, three mobile phones, and two motorcycles.
The operation was carried out by a team led by Kalaburagi Regional Deputy Conservator of Forests, Sumeetha Kumar Patila, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Mahmud Muneer Ahmed, Chittapur Taluk range Forest Officer, Vijayakumar Badigera, DRFO, Gajananda, and others. The confiscated items were estimated to be worth several lakhs of rupees.
The accused have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 for violations related to hunting and smuggling of wildlife. Forest officials have appealed the public to report any instances of illegal hunting or the sale of wild animals by contacting the Kalaburagi Regional Division Office at 08472 256601.