Karnataka Forest guards allegedly opened fire at three persons at Koornakud in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada district early on Sunday.
Shots were allegedly fired at three cattle transporters from Panathur in Kasargod district injuring one person.
The Forest Department has denied shooting at the people and claim that the shots were fired in the air as a warning since the driver refused to stop the vehicle for a routine check. However, an official at Sullia Police Station confirmed to TNM that the forest official shot at the leg of one of the persons in the vehicle after an altercation between them.
According to police, Nishant, who was driving the pick-up van, suffered a pellet wound on his left leg and was taken to a nearby hospital. Sub-Inspector Shiju M V told The New Indian Express, â€œFour pellets are lodged in his leg, at the ankle."
Nishant was travelling with PM Haneefa and KV Aneesh and the trio informed Kerala police that they were stopped by Karnataka Forest officials when they were travelling on the Panathur-Sullia Road around 3:30 am.
The officials were reportedly acting on a tip-off that teak wood was being illegally transported and were on high alert checking vehicles at the border. The officials noticed the pick-up van driven by Nishant and instructed him to stop the vehicle. When the vehicle did not stop, the officials forcibly stopped the vehicle.
"The forest officials have informed us that these three people attacked them with knives and other weapons. A fight broke out between the two during which one of the officials fired at one of the persons,"says the official.
Upon inspecting the vehicle the officials found three cows instead of teak wood. Police are investigating a complaint made by forest officials against the three persons and have sent an intimation to Nishant, who is recovering at a hospital in Kannur.