Tourists in Wayanad offer lift to old friend, lands in jail for 'smuggling' elephant tooth; released

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Elephant tooth recovered from the gang in Muthanga on May 15.

Sultan Bathery: A group of tourists in Muthanga landed in trouble after offering a lift to a ‘good old friend’ on May 15.

The youngsters T Vishnu, A Sujith, Ranjith, Arshakanath, and Aakarsh S Mohan, offered a lift to Ajeesh on their return journey. They were acquaintances during college days and met unexpectedly in Muthanga after many years. While Ajeesh is a Bathery native, the others are from Kozhikode.

However, the jeep was stopped at the police outpost. In the search that followed, an elephant tooth weighing around 500 grams was recovered from Ajeesh’s bag leading to the arrest of the whole ‘gang’. They were arrested around 12 PM on May 15.

They were handed over to the Muthanga forest range officers for further investigation and booked under the Wildlife Protection Act on the basis of primary evidence.

However after thorough interrogation, the officials discovered that all of them except Ajeesh were totally innocent, and had nothing to do with the case.

As per Ajeesh’s statement he had come to a colony in Muthanga with an elephant tooth he collected from deep forest years ago, trying to explore the possibilities of extracting a medicine from the tooth, for curing his brother who was suffering from ‘mumps’.

Eventually, the group of men, including Ajeesh, were granted bail by the Bathery judicial first class magistrate court in the case as the department did not object to their plea.

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