HAVERI: The Haveri police on Sunday nabbed five persons who were involved in hunting blackbucks.
The police recovered the carcass of two blackbucks, a rifle that was used for killing antelopes, and several other items, sources said.
On Sunday early morning, the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) staff, who were on night duty at Halageri of Ranebennur taluk, were involved in checking vehicles when a pickup vehicle did not stop and passed the checkpoint at high speed. Growing suspicious, the police began to chase the vehicle.
Despite several warnings and the sound of the siren, the vehicle did not stop, hence the police sought help from other the ERSS teams from Hirekerur and Rattihalli to intercept the speeding vehicle. Finally, the vehicle was intercepted and the suspects were nabbed near Rattihalli town.
The accused Sadiq, 48, Mohammed Ali Nazeer, 32, Sayed Mukeeb, 21, Sayed Nasarulla, 52, and Sulthan Khan, 21, all residents of Shiralakoppa town of Shikaripura taluk in Shivamogga district were arrested and have been remanded to judicial custody.
The blackbucks are protected under schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, and if the crime of hunting them is proved the accused can get imprisonment up to seven years along with a fine.
There is a sizable population of blackbucks in Haveri district. Large groups of these antelope can be seen roaming freely in Ranebennur which has a protected area earmarked for the conservation of blackbucks.
Haveri superintendent of police Hanumantharaya said that it was a joint operation of ERSS teams from Ranebennur, Hirekerur and Rattihalli taluks and the accused were arrested for hunting the wild animals.
"We are investigating the case and will check whether the accused were involved in any other such cases in the past," he said.