In a major development, the Tirupati Urban police booked red sanders smuggler Ravi Somu of Chennai under the Preventive Detention Act on Tuesday. Ravi, hailing from Sastri Nagar in Vyasarpadi area of North Chennai, was termed as a regular offender, having involvement in chopping the valuable red sanders trees and transporting the logs.
The decision to slap P.D. Act on him was taken after the District Collector accorded permission for the same. “His role was crucial in shifting the logs to Chennai and further to Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Manipur, from where the booty crossed the Indian borders”, said Additional Superintendent of Police S.Trimurthulu, while producing the accused before the media.
Ravi was arrested on January 27 in the forest located 5 k.m. from Thumburu Theertham cross road on the Renigunta-Kodur highway. Six of his ten accomplices viz., N. Kannaiah, Ganesh Vijaykumar, V.Ganesh, Balasubramanyam, N. Ramesh and C. Nadamuni hailed from Tirupati and Renigunta areas, while K. Venkatesh, Bala, Ramanathan and R.Bhaskaran were from Chennai.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Renigunta) K.S. Nanjundappa rounded up the team of 11, when they were getting ready to shift the 28 red-sander logs in a tanker lorry and a car. Named as the third accused in this case, Ravi Somu was found to have been involved in 23 similar cases in Satyavedu, Nindra, Nagari, Punganur, Bhakarapet, Chittoor taluk, Chittoor One Town, Gangadhara Nellore, Karvetinagaram, Kanipakam, Vayalpadu, Rompicherla, Puthalapattu and Madanapalle police stations in the district in the past.
The accused was shifted from the Tirupati sub-jail to the Kadapa jail.