17 K’taka forest officers booked for custodial death of tribal man

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17 K’taka forest officers booked for custodial death of tribal man

Mysuru: The Karnataka police have registered an FIR against 17 state forest Department officials in connection with the death of a tribal man in the Mysuru district, police said.

The FIR had been booked against the Reserve Forest Conservator of Gundre Reserve Forest Amruthesh, Deputy Range Forest Officer (DRFO) Karthik Yadav, staffers Anand, Bahubali, Ramu, Shekaraiah, Sadashiva, Manju, Umesh, Sanjay, Raja Naik, Sushma, Mahadevi, Ayyappa, Somashekar, Tangamani and Siddique Pasha in the Antharasanthe police station.

The complaint had been booked in connection with the death of 41-year-old Kariyappa, a resident of Hisahalli Haadi near the Gundre Reserve forest.

According to police, the forest Department officials had taken Kariyappa and two others on Monday and kept them in illegal custody, alleging that they had killed a deer in the reserve forest.

The 41-year-old tribal man was allegedly assaulted by the forest Department officials in custody. When he became sick, he was admitted to K.R. Hospital in Mysuru, where he succumbed to injuries.

The local tribals alleged that Kariyappa’s death was a murder and staged a protest before the Forest Department.

The family members of the deceased have said that the forest Department officials came to their house and threatened that if they told anyone about the whereabouts of Kariyappa, they would shoot all of them and burn down their house.

The family members have also alleged that the forest Department officials hurled abuses in front of their women and dragged them.

Later, Kariyappa was taken into custody. The family had told police that they received a phone call from the DFRO Karthik Yadav to come and take Kariyappa home on Tuesday.

When the family members found that Kariyappa was serious after being assaulted in custody, they refused to take him home. Later, the forest Department officials shifted him to the hospital.

H.D. Kote tehsildar, Ratnambika had visited a mortuary in Mysuru following the death of a tribal man and received information about it on Thursday.

She said that she was instructed by higher authorities to gather information on the incident and to pacify the family members of the deceased.

If the post-mortem report confirms the assault on the tribal man, action will be initiated against the forest department officials, she added.

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