Poisoning of monkeys: Suspect surrenders

A 40-year old man, accused in the case of killing of wild monkeys by feeding them poisonous food in a village near Thiruvananthapuram, has surrendered before a local court.

Premkumar, a contractual employee in the state Forest Development Corporation, had been absconding for the last few days after the police and forest personnel zeroed in on him as the prime suspect behind the cruel deed.

On his surrender, the First Class Judicial Magistrate court at Nedumangad yesterday remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days, forest department sources said.

Carcasses of seven monkeys, aged between one-and-half to 10 years, were exhumed from a rubber plantation owned by a villager at Senanipuram on Sunday.

Forest officials carried out a search in the area based on information that a number of monkeys had been killed and the carcasses dumped en masse in a pit.

After chemical analysis and post-mortem, forest officials confirmed that the animals were fed with food mixed with a pesticide. Meanwhile, Forest Range Officer Abdul Jaleel told PTI that he submitted a request at the court to get him in custody for questioning as part of inquiry.

Further questioning would reveal details like the modus of operandi of the crime and the poison used, he said. Monkeys are included under Schedule 3 of the Wildlife Act and their poachers are liable to get three years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25,000.

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