HASSAN: In a joint operation, officials of the forest department and police have arrested five people including two monkey capturers in connection with the death of 30 bonnet macaques in Belur taluk recently.
Addressing a press conference here, deputy commissioner R Girish said that police have arrested a couple Ramu and Yashoda, who are monkey capturers from Banavara, as well as Manja, Rudresh and Ramanuja Iyengar of Ugane village of Hassan taluk. Villagers led by Ramanuja Iyengar had approached Ramu and Yashoda to capture and shift the monkeys to the forest. They set up a cage to lure the monkeys. They then stuffed the monkeys into gunny bags and dumped them near Chowdanahalli. Some of the monkeys escaped from the spot.
The DC said the three-member committee including the SO Srinivasa Gowda, DFO Basanaraj and DC will submit the detailed report soon. As per the preliminary report, the monkeys died of suffocation. The district authority is planning to come up with a new plan to combat the monkey menace, he added. Samples of the monkeys have been sent to the forensic lab to find the cause of death. The accused have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, DFO Basavaraj said.
During the interrogation, the villagers admitted that they paid some cash to the monkey capturers to capture over fifty monkeys which damaged coconut and arecanut crops in Ugane and adjacent villages. It may be recalled that the high court took up a suo moto case in this regard.