A team of eight Revenue officials were locked up inside a room during a drive to remove an encroachment on an elephant corridor by a private property firm near Alandurai in the district on Thursday.

Elephant corridor

The team headed by Revenue Inspector Muthukumar and comprising seven Village Administrative Officers had gone to demolish buildings on the premises of a private firm, which had encroached upon nearly an acre of the elephant corridor.

The firm had also taken over a water body in the area and constructed a swimming pool besides several small structures on the encroached land.

The District Collector constituted the team following a recent directive by the Director of Town and Country Planning Department.

When the team reached the spot with an earth mover, the employees had refused to allow them to demolish the buildings despite being told that the property owner had already been informed.

The employees then locked up the Revenue officials inside one of the rooms.

Case registered

Several senior officials including a Deputy Collector, a Tahsildhar and police officials rushed to the spot and rescued Mr. Muthukumar and others.

Following a complaint by the Revenue officials, a case had been registered at Alandurai Police Station against the five employees of the firm.

Sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 294 (b) (uttering obscene words in public place), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his/her duty) and 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code were invoked against them.

The officials began demolishing the structures.

However, as it became dark before they could complete, they halted the work as elephants were frequently spotted in the area. The demolition would continue on Friday.

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