Salem: Relatives of a Tamil Nadu villager who was shot down by the Karnataka forest staff in the Palar forest area for allegedly poaching sambar deer, demanded a CBI probe into the killing. Friday, the body of 42-year-old Palani of Chettipatti village, near Mettur, in Tamil Nadu was found floating in the river in the Palar reserve area. Angry villagers of Chettipatti and neighbouring hamlets ransacked the Palar check-post, allegedly looted the rifles and elephant tusks belonging to the Karnataka forest department, on October 24, triggering tension on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.
The villagers claimed that Palani was tortured and gunned down by the Karnataka forest staff, when he and his two associates, Raja and Muthusamy, had gone fishing in the Palar waters. However, Karnataka forest officials insist that they were poachers and had killed two sambar deer, leading to the shoot-out.Palani’s widow Shantha, his children, Pavithra, Thenmozhi and Prabhakaran, besides their relatives and villagers led by DMDK’s Mettur MLA S.R. Parthipan, trooped into the Salem collectorate on Tuesday, demanding a CBI probe into the incident.
In her petition to collector K. Maharabushanam, Shantha urged the Tamil Nadu government to take steps to initiate a CBI probe into the killing of her husband and also provide her an immediate solatium of Rs 25 lakh. The collector, who received the petition, handed over a cheque for Rs 10,000 as solatium from the collector’s discretionary funds and assured to take up the issue with the government.
MLA Parthiban said the Karnataka forest staff who had shot down Palani should be charged with murder. He demanded a fresh post-mortem at a goverment hospital in Tamil Nadu. The autopsy of Palani’s body was done at the Mysore goverment hospital and their medical report cannot be accepted, he said. Besides, villagers of Tamil Nadu living on the Karnataka border should be given adequate protection by the state police, he said.