The forest department and police have arrested seven persons, including a woman in connection with the killing of 38 monkeys in the Hassan district.

The police said on Tuesday that all the arrested persons were monkey catchers and villagers had funded them to catch monkeys.

The accused have been identified as Ramu, Yashoda, Manja, Manje Gowda, Iyyangari, Srikanth and Ramanuja Iyengar. All of them have been sent to judicial custody.

The incident had taken place in the Chowdanahalli village on July 29. Miscreants had stuffed the monkeys in gunny bags and thrown them by the roadside.

The incident had come to light when the local youths, after finding the gunny bags lying on the roadside, opened them.

Initially, the reports suggested that 30 monkeys were killed. Later on, it was confirmed that 38 monkeys were killed in the incident.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the incident, the High Court of Karnataka had ordered a PIL in the matter.

The forest department and police intensified investigations and arrested the accused persons from the surrounding villages.

The investigations revealed that villagers of Udane after becoming wary of monkey menace had approached the accused persons asking them to help them to get rid of monkeys.

They had collected and paid Rs 80,000 to them. The accused fed biscuits, bread and other food items to the monkeys for a week. Then, they were trapped in a box. The accused stuffed them into gunny bags and threw them by the roadside in a distant village.

The monkeys died due to suffocation and the post mortem report is awaited.

It is learnt that the villagers who hired the monkey catchers performed a special pooja ceremony at the local temple to wash away their sins as monkeys are worshipped and seen as lord Hanuman in the Hindu religion.

–IANS

mka/dpb

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