BENGALURU: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) - Forest Cell seized animals and 50kg of sandalwood from a farm house belonging to a renowned criminal advocate C V Sudhindra.
CID’s Forest Cell team led by DySP Balrame Gowda raided the farm house ‘Drona’ from where they seized a jackal pup, two star tortoises, a flapshell turtle, two parakeets and over 50kg of sandalwood.
The manager of the farm house, Swamy, was arrested and a case was registered at the Kaggalipura police station for violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Karnataka Forest Act. A police source said that Swamy claimed many top rank government officials have previously visited the farm house.
Police said that the animals were kept in cages. “The raid was conducted based on a tip-off by an NGO.”
A CID source said, “We suspect the wild animals were kept for superstitious beliefs. Many believe that looking at a jackal’s face will bring prosperity and tortoises yield longer life. Star tortoises from India are often smuggled to foreign countries as well. Animals smuggled from Karnataka are mainly transported via Chennai or Mumbai harbours. As these are rare species, they are worth lakhs.”
Advocate Sudhindra told Express, “This is a conspiracy against me by real estate developers who have been relentlessly forcing me to sell the land for the past three years. The farm house sits on 2.5 acres of land. Animals come into property. I have not visited the farm house for almost a month.”
“The rescued animals are not mine. As a senior advocate I know what animals can be kept at a farm. There are 15-20 dogs at the farm house, so there’s no way I can have these animals here. The seized sandalwood is not of my farm house. All the sandalwood trees at my place are notified with forest department,” he added.