A suspected teakwood smuggler from Coorg was killed when a vehicle, laden with the wood, overturned at the Regional Forest Park at Induvalu in Mandya early on Friday.
Manju (40) is the deceased. Manju, who was part of a four-member gang, had entered the Induvalu Nature Park (Induvalu Prakruti Udyanavana) late on Thursday night and chopped off some teakwood trees using electric or battery-operated power saws.
After loading the teakwood logs into the vehicle, the four-member gang left the place. But minutes later, the vehicle overturned near a tree they had chopped off, resulting in Manju getting trapped under the logs, while three others who escaped unhurt, fled from the spot. Manju, who sustained serious injuries, was rushed to K.R. Hospital, where he breathed his last sometimes later.
The Police have seized the vehicle and are investigating.
Meanwhile, environmentalists and locals have demanded a thorough probe into the chopping of timber in the protected regional forest.
Deputy conservator of Forest N. Shivaraju said that Patrolling in the Nature Park will be intensified to check smuggling of teakwood and other precious trees.