Seven persons were arrested for hunting a spotted deer at Chengal Padugai in Mettupalayam forest range on Saturday.
Forest officials seized eight kilos of meat and a country made single barrel gun from them. The owner of the country made gun was handed over to police who arrested and sent him to judicial custody.
The arrested persons are: Devaraj (60) from Kembanur, Rasu (43), Rathinasamy (36), both hailing from Mahadevapuram, Marimuthu (34) from SM Nagar, Jaffar Ali (63) from Mattakkara street, Senthil (35) from Kurumbanur and Krishnasamy (41) from Sukkucoffee Kadai near Mettupalayam.
"Devaraj had used the country made gun to shoot the spotted deer. He had taken land on lease situated near the forest for agricultural purposes. The spotted deer had strayed into his agricultural field and thus he killed the deer along with his friends," said Mustafa, forest range officer, Mettupalayam forest range. The animal weighed 8kg and the accused persons shared the meat equally.
On receiving a tipoff, forest officials went to Chengal Padugai forest area and arrested them. "All of them have been booked under wild life protection act and fined Rs25,000 each.
Apart from Devaraj who was handed over to the Mettupalayam police for possession of the gun without a license, the others were let off," said Mustafa.