HASSAN: A man suspected to be a sandalwood smuggler was shot dead by forest officials at Tirumalagudda forest area near Salagame village of Hassan taluk on Wednesday. The deceased is Manjappa Gowda (55) of Madaghatha village in Halebidu.
The incident occurred when a gang of eight miscreants, including Manjappa Gowda, were cutting sandal wood trees in the forest. Sources said the other miscreants are from Kerala.
On a tip-off, forest officials rushed to the spot with weapons and opened fire at the smugglers to disperse them. One of the forest guards shot at the smugglers when they hurled stones and weapons at the forest officials while escaping.
SP Rahul Kumar and DFO Manjunath visited the spot. DFO M L Manjunath said the police have not yet ascertained the details of the miscreants. Forensic experts visited the spot for further investigation. Hassan Rural police are investigating.