MADIKERI: George Anikkal, a suspected poacher from Kasargod, was killed in 'friendly fire' from his partners Chandran and Ashoka, and not by another hunting group, said Kodagu superintendent of police Suman Pannekar.
Initially, Chandran and Ashoka told the Bhagamandala police that George was shot dead by another group hunting in deep inside the Mundrote forest range of Kodagu on Tuesday evening. However, sustained interrogation revealed that the duo fired at George, said Pannekar.
All the three are residents of Thayeni in East Eleri panchayat of Kasargod. She said both the accused have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code. They were booked under the Arms Act.
George's wife Sofi had filed a complaint against Chandran and Ashoka at the Bhagamandala police station. The Bhagamandala police said the two accused frequented the forest in Karnataka to poach wild animals.
Tuesday evening, the duo reportedly told police that they were in the forest hunting for Indian pangolins. Around 4.30 pm, George was hit by two bullets in his chest and shoulder, and Chandran and Ashoka fled the scene. They later told the police that George was shot dead by another group.
However, the officer said they cannot be booked for poaching activity with evidence or without being caught red-handed.