According to the police, Mahendran, a resident of Irupathekkar Kudi near Kunchithanny in Idukki, was accidentally shot while hunting in a cardamom plantation, where his friends secretly buried his body.
In connection with the incident, Rajakkad police on Saturday arrested three fellow tribal youths. The decrees are Irupathekkar residents Samji, 44 years old, Jomi50 years old, and Muthayya, 60 years old, resident of Pothamedu.
According to the police, Mahendran had gone hunting with his friends and had been missing since June 27. His relatives filed a missing man complaint with the Rajakkad police on July 2, following which an investigation began.
Police said the four-member gang arrived at the plantation to hunt on the evening of June 27. While searching for an animal, one of the friends saw a shiny button on Mahendran’s raincoat and mistook it for an animal’s eye and fired his gun. When the youth was confirmed dead, they secretly buried his body inside and fled the scene.
Police received a CCTV visual indicating that the four-member team reached the plantation in an autorickshaw. After a three-day interrogation, the arrest of the accused was registered, police said.
“The incident happened accidentally during the hunt. The area looks like a forest. The body was exhumed from the place and sent for autopsy. The real cause of death will not be known until the report is received. autopsy,” Munnar DSP KR Manoj told TOI.
Munnar DFO Francois Raju said the incident did not happen in the forest area and there is no forest land in Pothamedu. “I ordered the shooting officer to check if the gang was conducting an animal hunt in the area. If so, we will file a case against them,” Francis said.
A Forest Department official said they would submit a letter to the Rajakkad circle inspector and take the accused into custody for questioning.