A senior Karnataka forest department official was allegedly beaten to death on Tuesday after he objected to an illegal crocodile show being run on the banks of river Kali in north Karnataka.
The police have registered a case and arrested three people including a police official, who was accompanying the tourists. However, owner of local resort 'Crocodile Valley', who used to run the show, has not been arrested.
Assistant Conservator of Forest Madan Naik was assaulted when he objected to illegal feeding of crocodile by some tourists near Dandelappa temple in Dandeli, a popular tourist destination for crocodile viewing.
Naik had gone to the temple on Tuesday evening when he saw the unauthorised crocodile show being organised. The forest department had earlier stopped the illegal crocodile show but the resort owner had started running it discreetly. It was only by chance that Naik discovered the illegal activity.
Officials of Bangalore based Wildlife Conservation Society said Naik was attacked when he tried to prevent the illegal show and was attacked with stones. He sustained head injuries and was brought dead to a local hospital.
“We are shocked that the local police have not taken timely action or even promptly booked a case against the crocodile show that led to this tragedy,” said a group of wildlife conservationists in a statement.
They also claimed that attacks on forest officials trying to prevent such illegal activities were increasing in Karnataka and urged the government to take prompt action.