KOCHI: A probe into an incident in which two persons suffered gunshot injuries in forest areas of Idukki has revealed some startling information that people from Ernakulam and other districts have been frequenting the forest areas in Idukki to enjoy hunting in the wild.
In fact, a recent operation carried out by police in coordination with forest department in various parts of Idukki yielded results with police nabbing four persons and seizing five country-made guns, six modified air guns and trophies of the kills.
“We decided to conduct a drive to check illegal guns in the district after two persons accidentally got injured in gun firing. We suspected hunting behind the two incidents and our raids also proved the same. We received inputs that people from neighbouring districts are coming to Idukki for hunting,” said Idukki district police chief Karuppasamy R. He said that apart from guns, the police also seized 15 gelatin sticks.
“We will be continuing with the drive as we suspect more people are into hunting,” he added. Kochi range Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar said an earlier incident in which a person was shot dead in Idukki was the trigger for the police to look out for illegal arms. “The second incident confirmed that there is heightened use of illegal guns for hunting,” he said.
Police have decided to check for the source of guns as many of them are country made and others are modified air guns. “There are rackets in the district which modify air guns to increase their power and range. It’s suspected that the rackets learnt the art of altering the hitting capacity of the air guns to turn them into rifles for hunting from some manufacturers in Punjab and north eastern states,” said an intelligence officer.