Karnataka godman behind bars for running illegal wildlife trade

First Published 25, Sep 2017, 5:32 PM IST
Karnataka godman behind bars for running illegal wildlife trade
Highlights
  • The godman was using the garb of religiosity to hide his illegal businesses
  • He is charged with crimes of illegally possessing skins of endangered animals like leopard and deer
  • Police sources say the baba used his ashram cum school premises to hide the animal skins

The  Karnataka CID forest Cell has arrested a fraud baba red handed for illegally possessing wild animals skin, horns and live turtles.

The police said that based on a tip-off, they kept a close watch on baba Dr Hampaiah Swamy, the president of Mruthynjaya Seva Trust, in Jangamanara Kalgudi village in in North Karnataka before deciding to raid the premises.

"The baba is very powerful and runs a school. The public here does not know about the activities. It is learnt that baba along with his nephew Manjunath in Bengaluru was involved in wildlife trade. When the police raided a lot of crowd gathered to witness the arrest. To avoid any commotion, the accused was handed over to Gangavathi town police and relevant cases under the Wildlife Act .Now he is in judicial custody," said a senior police officer.

Inspector Promodh from CID forest cell headquarters in Bengaluru along with his subordinates arrested the accused on Sunday evening. "One leopard skin, two black buck skin and horns, one deerskin and horns, and four soft-shelled turtles were seized from his school cum ashram. The Gangavathi police which has named baba and his accomplice,  Amaraiah Swamy, Raju and another accused Nagaraj, a resident of Bengaluru in the report, was directed to make a detailed report and submit before the court," said Promodh.

The sources say, Baba who has a doctorate from Yadir was popular among locals and used his school premises to run the illegal business. It is said that his nephew Manjunath from Bengaluru was doing the marketing for Baba and his team to sell these products. He is still at large and police are after him.

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