A 55-year-old farmer was shot dead by a forester when the deceased allegedly attempted to attack him with a sickle while trying to enter the Srivilliputhur Megamalai Tiger Reserve (SMTR) at the Megamalai forest division near Cumbum in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu late on Saturday night.
Police sources said here this morning the deceased A.Eswaran attempted to enter the SMTR at Kullappa Goundan Patti forest range, adjoining his agricultural land. The forester, Thirumurugan, asked him not to trespass into the SMTR, resulting in a wordy quarrel between them.
At one stage, Eswaran tried to attack Thirumurugan with a sickle.
The forester shot Eswaran in self-defense. The bullet pierced into the stomach of Eswaran, who succumbed to the bullet injury on the spot.
On a complaint from the forest officials, Uthamapalayam Judicial Magistrate A.Ramanathan and senior police officials visited the site and held an inquiry with the forester.
The body was sent to the Government Medical College Hospital in Theni for a post-mortem.
Irate over the death of the farmer, his kin and a large number of locals assembled before the hospital and staged road roko agitation, demanding stern action against the forester.
Police personnel were posted in and around the hospital to prevent any untoward incidents.
Further investigations are ongoing.