Red sanders cutters stoned to death two forest officials in Seshachalam forests on Sunday.
The incident happened near Thumburu Theertham, a water body located between Tirumala Parveta Mandapam and the Tirupati-Kadapa highway in the deep jungle. A team of eight officials and guards went into the forest looking for their colleagues who had ventured the previous day for regular combing and had not yet returned. They started calling out for their colleagues when they were around 8 km into the deep jungle. When stones rained on them from all sides they realised that they have been surrounded. In the gruesome attack, Deputy Range Officer Sridhar and Assistant Beat Officer David Kumar were killed on the spot. Three others were injured, while another three fled the scene.
On information, the Tirumala police reached Parveta Mandapam, but refrained from venturing into the forest alone, as they were unaware of the numerical strength of the miscreants hiding in the forest, and waited for the forest-police joint taskforce team to arrive. The injured persons, who had been thoroughly traumatised by the attack, could not reveal much. Later, the dead bodies as well as the injured were shifted from the forest to the SVRR Government General Hospital. The guards expressed their displeasure over the indifferent attitude of the senior officials in not providing them arms even for self-defence and making them easy prey for the hardcore criminals.