After assault, IFS officer fears for life
The forest official, who was allegedly assaulted by brother of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA at Sarsala village on Sunday, said she fears threat to her life from the supporters of the accused.
Chole Anitha, forest range officer at Kaghaznagar, was allegedly beaten up by TRS leader and Zilla Parishad vice-chairman Koneru Krishna Rao at Sarasala village of Kaghaznagar block, when she along with officials from her department went there for a tree plantation drive.
Rao, brother of TRS MLA from Sirpur Kaghaznagar Koneru Konappa, later resigned from the post of vice-chairman and was arrested along with 13 others.
Anitha, who was shifted from Kaghaznagar to a private hospital in Hyderabad, on Monday said that Rao’s supporters “might kill” her. “I am scared of those people. They might kill me after coming out of jail,” she said.
She claimed that it was not the first time that local TRS leaders had assaulted forest officials. “I was told my predecessors had faced similar threats and attacks from the local leaders. They are known for instigating the tribals to attack the forest officials,” she said.
Meanwhile, a video surfaced on Monday, in which Konappa can be heard tutoring the tribals and party workers at his residence on what to tell mediapersons about the incident. He can also be heard telling the tribals what to tell the police.
“I will call the reporters. Tell them that the forest officials were harassing you physically every day and that they were threatening you from taking up cultivation in your lands inside the forest. Tell the media that the forest officials had beaten you 15 days ago and again on Sunday. All of you tell this version to the media, one after the other,” the MLA can be heard saying.
Employees of the forest department across the state staged demonstrations in protest against the attack on Anitha on Monday. They demanded protection for the forest staff and justice for Anitha.
The Congress demanded that MLA Konappa be punished along with his brother Krishna. The party has constituted a five-member fact finding committee.
The police filed cases against Krishna Rao and 13 others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.