Madikeri: A Forest Watcher on duty has gone missing under mysterious circumstances from Makuta Forest limits in Virajpet taluk.
The missing Forest Watcher is 23-year-old Pavan, a native of Balele and it is suspected that he may have slipped and fell into the river. A search operation is on to trace the body.
Details: Pavan and four others were deployed for a wild elephant combing operation at V. Badaga village in Makuta Reserve Forest area on Sept. 23 during which Pavan is said to have gone missing suddenly.
Though Forest Department staff, Police and Fire Brigade personnel, Bittangala Gram Panchayat members and localites conducted a search till night, Pavan was not traceable and it is suspected that he may have slipped and fell into the River flowing next to the forest.
On Sept. 23 late night, a team from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was summoned and a search operation was conducted inside the forest but in vain. On Sept. 24, a search was conducted in the river at Neerugundi area in V. Badaga Forest limits till evening but Pavan could not be traced.
The search operation to trace Pavan is still going on and NDRF, Fire Brigade and Police personnel have stayed put in the area and are continuing their search. Meanwhile, the information of Pavan going missing was told to his family members on Sept. 23 night by the Forest officials.
The family members requested the Forest officials to allow them inside the Forest area, but as Makuta Forest area is thick, Forest officials convinced Pavan’s family members not to venture inside the forest and a search operation is continuing.