3 forest officials nabbed for killing, devouring endangered deer in Kerala

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Nedumangad: Police nabbed three persons for killing endangered Barking Deer (Indian muntjac) for food. Anshad (39), Rajendran SS (49) and Satheesan (39) were arrested by a team led by Palode Range Officer S Surya.

Beat officer Shajeed and snake catcher Sanal Raj were arrested earlier in the same case. They revealed the involvement of three others in the case during questioning. Following this, the forest department transferred all staff of the Palode office, who were on duty on the day of the incident.

On May 10, locals informed forest beat officer Shajeed of an injured barking deer near Chuliyamala. Shajeed and Sanal Raj came to the place and took the deer to the house of Rajendran instead of hospital. They killed the deer and consumed meat. Later, the bones were discarded in a nearby forest.

Meanwhile, the accused told other forest department officials that the deer had died and they buried it. However, subsequent investigation revealed that the accused killed the deer and consumed the meat.

The accused were charged with serious offences which could invite a jail term of atleast 10 years. Further, those officials who initially investigated the case were removed from the probe due to serious lapses from their part.

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