Police sources said, 47-year-old land owner J Senthil had hired 27-year-old earthmover driver S Jayashankar to clear and level his land located adjacent to a Thandu Mariamman temple where a huge ant hill is located. However, there was unrest in the area following the ant hill being razed down as devotees of the Mariamman temple claimed that the duo also killed a cobra which had strayed into the pit. A police complaint was filed and since a snake was killed, foresters were called in for investigation.
Police said when the duo destroyed the pit, a 5-ft cobra came out and they ran the earthmover over it, so it was decided that wildlife officials would deal with the case. Locals also alleged that Senthil destroyed the ant hill to encroach upon a piece of land. Chengalpattu forest ranger D Pandurangan visited the spot and sent the cobra carcass for an autopsy. The duo has been booked under Ssections of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and IPC provisions. This is a rare case and preliminary investigations revealed that the duo killed the cobra intentionally and hence were arrested, wildlife sources said.