Mob attacks two Telangana forest officials for stopping illegal farming
Barely 48 hours after a TRS leader assaulted a woman forest officer in Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district, two other forest officers were beaten up by a mob in Bhadradri Kothagudem district, about 300 km east of Hyderabad early Tuesday.
The incident happened at Gundalapadu village, when six forest officials from Mulkalapalli division went into the forest after coming to know that local tribals were ploughing forest land for shifting cultivation.
“We found several tribals were tilling the forest land with three tractors. We asked them not to take up any farming in the forest land which was against the rules. When we seized the tractors, they started attacking us with sticks,” beat officer Bhaskar Rao told local reporters.
Bhaskar Rao and section officer Neelamaiah were injured in the attack.
About 70 tribal farmers indulged in the attacks on the forest staff. “We had to run for our safety leaving the tractors there,” Rao said.
The forest officials managed escape and returned to Mulakalapalli where they lodged a complaint with the police. The injured officials were shifted to the government hospital at Paloncha town for treatment.
The forest official had gone to the area without any police escort.
“We have registered a case against the tribals and are investigation. So far, we have not made any arrest,” Mulakapalli sub-inspector of police Suman said.
Meanwhile, the National Women’s Commission in a letter to Telangana’s director general of police M Mahender Reddy on Monday sought swift action over Sunday’s attack on forest range officer Chole Anitha and other forest officials.
“Considering the gravity of the matter, I request you to ensure swift and speedy investigation in the matter and send a detailed action taken report to the commission at an early date,” NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said in her letter to the DGP.
Anitha was attacked with sticks by TRS leader Koneru Krishna Rao, brother of MLA Koneru Konappa representing Sirpur Kaghaznagar assembly constituency in Sarsala village in Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district. Rao and 13 others were later arrested.
Anitha is recovering at a corporate hospital in Hyderabad. Krishna Rao resigned as zilla parishad vice-chairman.