Two villagers in their early thirties have been arrested by forest officials of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve Forest for allegedly lighting a fire that burned down almost 10,000 hectres of forest and caused irreparable damage to the flora and fauna apart from the wildlife.
"Two villagers have been arrested and sent to judicial custody. They had lit a fire in order to stop tigers from entering into their village as they were being spotted in the area for a month or so," Puttaswami, the Range Forest Officer of the Gopalaswami Hill Limits, told NDTV.
Both the villagers were allegedly seen running away from one of the four places from where the fire had started. They were seen by Forest Watchers of the Department. They have been on the run since the incident.
The raging fire in Bandipur Tiger Reserve was reported late night on February 22. Fire Engines and villagers tried their best to put out the fire but it remained uncontrollable till a couple of army choppers were sent in at the request of the Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on February 25.
Choppers in their seven sorties sprinkled 19 thousand litres of waters through huge "Bambi Bucket" that helped douse the fire.