30 RTC drivers held for links with red sanders smugglers

Updated - June 22, 2016 03:04 pm IST

Published - January 05, 2015 11:36 pm IST - KADAPA:

Some of the APSRTC drivers who were arrested on Monday for links with red sanders smugglers, in Kadapa on  Monday. Photo: By Arrangement

Some of the APSRTC drivers who were arrested on Monday for links with red sanders smugglers, in Kadapa on Monday. Photo: By Arrangement

Barely a month after the arrest of 12 APSRTC drivers for their nexus with red sanders smugglers, the Kadapa police arrested 30 more RTC drivers of Nandyal, Allagadda and Atmakur depots of Kurnool district on Monday on charges of carrying workers from Tamil Nadu to Kadapa district to fell red sander trees in Kadapa district.

Thirteen APSRTC drivers of Nandyal depot, 12 of Allagadda depot and five of Atmakur depot were apprehended for picking up workers to fell red sander trees at Koyambedu bus station and dropping them near Balupalli forest area in Railway Kodur mandal in Kadapa district, Kadapa Superintendent of Police Navin Gulati told a media conference here.

Each driver earned about Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,000 per trip for carrying the workers, warding off ordinary passengers, and bypassing the bus stations en route, the SP said. The total number of APSRTC drivers arrested so far went up to 42 and departmental action was recommended against them, besides initiating criminal proceedings against them, Dr. Gulati said.

Investigation revealed that two drivers of Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation including one Akbar organised the trips by conniving with red sander smugglers and brought the workers to Koyambedu bus station to board APSRTC night services, the SP added.

Director-Generals of Police and Conservators of Forests of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka would be contacted to help nab the culprits in those States, he added. Three special teams deputed by Rajampet DSP V. Aravinda Babu established the role of the 30 RTC drivers basing on the reservation charts, ticket issuing machines and duty charts and the drivers confessed to committing the offence. The arrested drivers of Nandyal depot were K.S. Ramudu, Y.V. Rangaiah, B.N. Raju, S. Mahaboob, G.S. Vasulu, K. Nagendra, S.A. Sattar, P.G. Krishna, S. Ismail, S. Shabbeer, C. Sekhar, K. Kalimulla and S.R. Basha.

The arrested drivers of Atmakur depot were S. Mazeed, B.R.K. Singh, M.S. Hussain, M.S.R. Reddy and K.V. Wahab, the SP stated. The Allagadda depot drivers were B.N. Raju, S. Kullayappa, D. Danam, S.K. Altaf, S.A. Saleha, V.D. Giri, A. Sivudu, K.R.K. Reddy, M.N. Reddy, S.B. Reddy, S.C. Basha and G. Prasad. The role of some RTC drivers of Kadapa district as also being probed, the SP said.

They were booked under Sections 353, 379 read with 109, 34 IPC and Section 20 of A.P. Forest Act 1967 and A.P. Forest Rules 1969, Section 3 of PDPP Act, Section 20 of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and Section 55 (2) of Biological Diversity Act 2002, the SP said.

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