HASSAN: An alleged sandalwood smuggler was shot dead by Forest Department officials at Tirumala Devara Gudda Forest Range in the early hours of Wednesday.
According to officials, the identity of the accused is yet to be ascertained and is suspected to be from Kerala.
According to deputy conservator of forests M L Manjunath, the incident occurred when a gang of eight smugglers threw weapons at the department personnel.
Based on a tip off, a team of personnel reached the spot at around 2.30 AM and opened fire to disburse the smugglers.
"One of the forest guards shot a person of the gang when they hurled stones and weapons in a bid to escape. Remaining members of the gang fled from the spot," he said.
The body which is currently being examined on the spot by a team of forensic experts from Bengaluru, will be shifted to the mortuary be evening.