Baripada: The bullet-riddled body of a 26-year-old tribal man was found in the Similpal National Park in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district Thursday morning, a day after forest personnel undertook an operation against poachers.
Jagannath Hembram of Burudiha village in Bangriposhi police station area was found dead in Talabandh range of the park, police said.
Talabandh’s Range Officer Shailendra Kumar Das said forest personnel undertook an operation in the core area on Wednesday night, during which they encountered a group of hunters armed with bows and arrows.
In order to disperse them, the forest personnel fired in the air, following which the hunters fled the spot, he said.
Locals, however, alleged that they were in the forest in search of a missing buffalo when they came across the forest personnel.
Jagannath’s brother Kaluram lodged a police complaint, alleging that he was killed in a “fake encounter” by the forest staff, who mistook him for a poacher.
Police are probing the matter and the body will be sent to PRM Medical College and Hospital for post-mortem examination, said Kamalakanta Das, the officer-in-charge of Bangriposhi police station.