Camera in forest captures gun-toting gang in Tirupur - The New Indian Express

Camera in forest captures gun-toting gang in Tirupur

Published: 22nd September 2013 07:57 AM

Last Updated: 22nd September 2013 07:57 AM

In an unexpected development, a gang of four, suspected to be sandalwood smugglers, with country-made guns on the prowl in the forest areas near the district were caught in the cameras installed inside the jungles to monitor movement of animals. The clip came to light when forest officials and a special task force were scanning cameras installed in the Amaravathi forest range up to a distance of 15 km inside the jungles.

Forest officials had installed automatic cameras inside the forest in Amaravathi and Udumalpet range in Tirupur district in August last to monitor the movement of animals, particularly tigers. However, a recent scan of photos captured by the camera revealed that a gang was on the prowl inside the forest.

The sequence of photos showed that one member of the gang, who was carrying the country-made gun, tried to damage the camera. However, the gang members left the place after their attempts to break the camera failed. Officials said that the gang had roamed the area on September 7 and left the spot on September 18.

Ruling out the possibility that it could be a gang of hunters, Amaravathi Forest Ranger Mariappan said that hunters usually avoided entering thus far into the forest and poached animals along the borders only. “The camera is installed nearly 15 kilometres inside Amaravathi range. It may be a gang of sandalwood smugglers.  These smugglers enter via Amaravathi range move to Palani range and then sneak into Kerala forests. Forest officials in the past have arrested many sandalwood smugglers from Salem and Theni districts who had used the same route.”

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