Jayashankar Bhupalpally: Two spotted deer were killed allegedly by a group of poachers, including a local political leader, in the Palimela forest area of Mahadevpur mandal in the district on Sunday night. The poachers had also threatened to kill the forest officials when they tried to nab them.
According to official sources, a team of forest officials led by Forest Range Officer (FRO) Ramesh, while on patrolling duty, had been instructed by the District Forest Officer (DFO) to intercept a car, which was coming from Lenkalagadda area, and search it.
Following this, the team stopped the vehicle and tried to check it, but a person in the vehicle came out with a long weapon covered with a towel and threatened to shoot them.
“Besides, the driver of the car also rammed into our vehicle and damaged it slightly before fleeing from the scene. However, we chased them for six km from Suraram to Ambatpally via Kishtaraopet. But they abandoned their vehicle on the outskirts of Ambatpally and escaped,” Ramesh said, adding that they found carcasses of two spotted deer, that of a male and female, which was pregnant, in the boot.
According to the FRO, the carcasses bore clear marks of bullet injuries and their necks were slit. “We seized a knife from the car besides documents of the car ownership, Aadhar card, and other papers. It looks like they were professional poachers,” Ramesh added.
Meanwhile, Bhupalpllay DFO Ravi Kiran examined the carcasses of the deer at Mahadevpur timber. Later, post-mortem was conducted by local veterinary doctor Mallesh.
Sources said Akbar, a local political leader, was also allegedly involved in the hunting. More than 10 hunters had arrived in the forest area in three vehicles for hunting from Hyderabad as the forests of Mahadevpur area had become a playground for such hunters.
However, FRO Ramesh said that he had no idea about the involvement of the local politician, but added that five persons had been involved in it. Forest officials booked five persons, including the car owner, Faizal Ahmed Khan, a resident of Vijayanagar Colony in Hyderabad, under the Wildlife Protection Act. The FRO said that they would also lodge a complaint with the local police about the incident.