HYDERABAD: Three employees working at the rifle shooting range of University of Hyderabad (UoH) were taken into custody on the charge of hunting a deer on the University premises here on Sunday.
The Gachibowli police recovered around 20 kilo of animal meat, and remains of the head, legs and skin of the deer. The arrested persons are Govind Rao, the caretaker of the range and security guards Chandraiah and Rajaiah.
The animal was killed, its head and limbs dismembered and the body chopped into pieces for cooking.
While the meat was packed in plastic bags and hidden in a godown at the security room of the shooting range, the head and legs were recovered from various places on the shooting range. The Rifle shooting range comes under the control of Sports Authority of Telangana.
According to the police, they got the information at around 4 pm on Sunday. University officials, on condition of anonymity, said the animal was killed when it strayed into the range on Sunday afternoon. As the three had an altercation, the information was passed on to police.
“The meat was divided and stuffed in four packets, and it was stored in the godown. There were some bullet injuries on the skin of the animal. However, nothing is confirmed,” said the official. The Skin, meat and other parts were sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory to find if the animal was shot dead. As huge quantity of meat was recovered, police suspect that the trio was planning to sell it. They launched an investigation to find if the accused had any history of hunting.
“Chandraiah killed the animal on instructions from Govind Rao. Rajaiah’s role is yet to be established. However, they are maintaining that a dog has killed the deer. In any case, they are not supposed to keep the meat in their possession,” said J Ramesh Kumar, inspector of Gachibowli Police Station.
He added that the police are taking the help of a veterinary doctor to conduct post mortem. A case under Wildlife Protection Act has been registered.
The recovery of deer meat from UoH premises is not the first such incident on campus. Though many outsiders enter the campus for hunting, there has been no efforts to curb this.
In 2012, two youth were caught for killing a deer. In 2015, a student of UoH had uploaded a video where stray dogs were seen hunting and killing a deer.
The UoH campus, spread over 1,700 acres, is home to many protected species including about 30 deer. Vast stretches of land are covered by trees undergrowth apart from rocks, providing favourable atmosphere for wildlife to survive. The thriving wildlife naturally invites poachers. In some instances, poachers were caught by students while they were laying metal snares. A wild boar was killed some years ago.
University staff said that apart from poachers, stray dogs also chase the deer.