A sandalwood thief was shot dead by a forest officer in the wee hours of Saturday at Lingambudhi Lake Park on the city outskirts.It is alleged that the incident took place when the thief and other seven members were trying to steal sandalwood from the Lingambudhi Lake forest area.
According to sources, on Saturday at 3:00 am, a group of eight members entered the Lingambudhi Lake premises, which has many sandalwood trees. Manjunath, a forest guard who was assigned for patrolling in the region on the account of recent leopard sightings in the region, heard the sound of the gang cutting down the trees. Thieves, who realised the presence of the forest guard, it seems, tried to attack him. In response, Manjunath opened fire which resulted in death of one of the thieves. The other members escaped under the cover of darkness. The thief, who died in the firing, has been identified as Shankar, a native of Annur. The Kuvempunagar police, who registered a case, recovered axe and other machineries from the spot. City Police Commissioner Dr Subramanyeshwara Rao, DCP N Rudramuni, ACP Mallik along with Dog Squad and technical team inspected the spot.
Entry to the Lingambudi Lake Park has been closed to the public in view of the investigation.