Karnataka HC suo moto takes up case of horrific killing of monkeys

Taking suo moto cognisance of media reports about several monkeys found dead or poisoned in gunny bags on the side of the road in the state’s Haasan district, the Karnataka High Court on Friday initiated PIL proceedings in the matter.

The district administration, as well as the Forest Department, and the Animal Welfare Board, are being made respondents.

Describing the news as “disturbing”, a Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, and Justice N.S. Sanjay Gowda gave orders for the Registrar General to register a suo motu PIL in the matter.

The court issued the orders after observing that several media had reported about the incident which is reported to have taken place on Wednesday night.

“It is necessary for the court to take cognisance of this issue in the light of the law laid down by the apex court,” it noted.

“The Registrar General is directed to make Principal Forest Officer, Deputy Commissioner, Hassan, and Animal Welfare Board, as respondents in the matter.”

The matter is to come up for hearing on August 4.

The ghastly incident in which 30 monkeys were found killed was reported from Chowdanahalli village of Belur taluk in Hassan early on Thursday. As many as 20 monkeys were found to be in a critical state. However, barring two, the others recovered and left after local residents gave them water.

Preliminary investigations suggested that monkeys were poisoned and beaten up after being placed in the gunny bags, before the bags were thrown by the roadside.

The incident had come to light when local youth, observing gunny bags lying on the roadside, grew suspicious and opened them and were shocked to see the dead and dying monkeys in them.