Support grows for release of ryot held after leopard’s death

After handing over a petition to the Vellore DRO, farmers also met forest officials, who claimed that Mohan Babu had put up a solar fence without official permission and hence arrested.
Villagers keeping a vigil at Pernambut Forest Office on Monday
Villagers keeping a vigil at Pernambut Forest Office on Monday

VELLORE: The Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam has threatened a statewide agitation if the farmer arrested by Forest Department officials in Pernambut was not released immediately, said Sangam’s state general secretary S Udayakumar.

Farmer Mohan Babu (40) of Serangal village near Perbambut was arrested on Sunday for reportedly installing a siren connected to a trip wire to chase away pachyderms trying to enter his land, which is just 300 metres from where a leopard was found dead on August 27.

After handing over a petition to the Vellore DRO, farmers also met forest officials, who claimed that Mohan Babu had put up a solar fence without official permission and hence arrested. Udayakumar said, “Their claims sound as if the leopard died due to the noise created by the siren.” “What was the hurry for the arrest when the post-mortem report on the leopard was yet to be received and the Tirupattur DFO told the reporters at the spot that the animal did not die of electrocution or poison?”, he asked.

Senthil, a neighbour said, “Mohan Babu’s father was killed by an elephant and so he rigged up a contraption 15 years ago in which a siren will blare when an animal touched the trip wire located at a height of 6 feet. All forest officials were aware of this system and the previous range officer also lauded Mohan Babu for the move, which will just chase away animals without harm.” Demanding Mohan Babu’s release nearly 100 residents maintained a vigil in front of the Pernambut Forest Range Office on Monday. To show that the 12-volt siren was harmless, a small boy put the wire in his mouth when it was switched on. A local seeking anonymity said, “forest officials are now on the back foot requesting us to take Mohan Babu out on bail and not to proceed further.” “Unless he is released unconditionally and immediately, we will not let the issue die down,” Udayakumar added.

Forest range officer Satish Kumar could not be reached.

Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!

Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!

Click here for iOS

Click here for Android

Related Stories

No stories found.
DT next
www.dtnext.in