In a curious incident, a sandalwood tree growing inside a university in Pune, Maharashtra, has been 'stolen'.
A case of theft was registered with Deccan police earlier in the month when a fully grown sandalwood tree was stolen from the premises of Fergusson College in Pune. According to a report by Hindustan Times, the theft occurred on November 5 when culprits sawed down the tree in the wee hours of the morning and made off with the wood.
A case has been booked against three unidentified persons, even though no persons have as yet been arrested.
This is not the first time that sandalwood trees have been "stolen" from private or protected premises. Due to the high sale value of sandalwood, incidents of theft often occur, especially in Pune where sandalwood trees grow generously.
Earlier in February, four sandalwood trees had been cut down and stolen from the premises of the Regional Ayurveda Institute for Fundamental Research in August earlier this year, Times of India reported.
Sandalwood poaching is a familiar crime in states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. In 2018, poachers had made off with several sandalwood trees from inside a Karantaka State Reserve Police premises in Bengaluru.
Strangely, the news of the theft in Pune coincides with the theft of a rare Swiss pine tree in Wisconsin, United States. The 25-ft pine was also stolen somewhere sometime on November 5 and has left police stumped.
The incident took place in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. According to reports, the Alqinuin Pillar Swiss Pine tree was planted in 1988, and a twin tree next to it was left unharmed.