IIT Bombay alumnus and Bengaluru-based startup entrepreneur Mudit Dandwate booked for a case of trespass in Thattekere Lake

IIT Bombay alumnus and Bengaluru-based startup entrepreneur Mudit Dandwate booked for a case of trespass in Thattekere Lake

BENGALURU,June27: A day after surviving a crocodile attack in a waterbody about 46km from here, IIT Bombay alumnus and Bengaluru-based startup entrepreneur Mudit Dandwate on Monday underwent a surgery. He was later shifted from the ICU to a private ward of Hosmat Hospital in Bengaluru.

The Indiranagar resident is, however, yet to overcome the shock, said doctors.

Mudit, 26, from Nagpur and runs a healthcare startup, and a friend had gone for a trek in the forests around Thattekere Lake. The duo was accompanied by two dogs. When they approached the lake, the dogs rushed towards the waterbody. Mudit too ran behind them and entered the waters, failing to notice a board warning about crocodiles. As fate would have it, a crocodile sprang up from the water, attacked him and ripped off his left forearm. Mudit managed to ward off the crocodile and was later rushed to Hosmat Hospital.

The authorities have now booked a case of trespass under Section 24 of the Karnataka Forest Act, 1963, against Mudit, as Thattekere Lake in Ramanagardistrict is located inside a protected forest.

The forest department has sought help from police to get a statement from the friend who accompanied Mudit. As Mudit is still undergoing treatment, they haven’t been able to record his statement.

Thattekere features prominently on the list of places around Bengaluru for picnics.The lake is next to the Mahadeshwara temple which also draws a lot of visitors. The authorities admit that the lake is a prominent tourist attraction for Bengalureans. Blogs by visitors are replete with stories about the tranquillity of the place and crocodiles on several sites. Many signboards, warning visitors to keep off the water, dot the area.

While forest officials and police sources said Mudit should have heeded the warnings, some think he might have not be able to read the warnings as they are all written in Kannada. Sources, however, pointed out that the board had a pictorial depiction of the danger as well.

On Monday, Mudit underwent a surgery to clear off injured muscles, ligaments and arteries on his left hand. Doctors said a prosthetic can be attached to his elbow after one-and-a-half month.

“He survived only because the crocodile grabbed his hand. Usually, crocodiles drown you and then grab you. Had it grabbed his hip, abdomen, chest or even thighs, chances of survival would have been bleak. Mudit is the first crocodile attack survivor I have seen in my career. He is still in trauma and will take time to recover,” said Dr Thomas Chandy, director and chief of orthopedics, Hosmat Hospital. The government should control humans from entering such lakes,” he said.
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