Andhra Pradesh

Red sanders logs worth Rs. 1.5 cr. seized

Smugglers hurls stones on combing party

A joint combing party comprising Task Force and Forest Department personnel was attacked by red sanders smuggling operatives at the Yerraguttalu area in Chandragiri mandal Friday midnight.

According to sources, the combing party had been following tracks indicating movement in the forest area during their patrol, when they encountered nearly 40 smuggling operatives carrying logs on their shoulders. Alarmed by this development, the operatives rained stones on the officials forcing the latter to take shelter in the nearby foliage.

Despite the combing party's appeals to stop the attack, the operatives continued to pelt them with stones forcing the officials to fire two rounds in the air as an act of self-defence. The operatives abandoned the logs and fled deep into the forests and officials have mobilised additional forces to nab them. Red Sanders Anti Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) Head and DIG M. Kantha Rao visited the spot to assess the situation. As many as 33 red sanders logs were seized from the location and their cost is pegged at Rs.1.5 crore.

3 woodcutters held

Meanwhile, a cut-off party nabbed three woodcutters/smuggling operatives at the Bhimaram forest area in A. Rangampet of Chandragiri mandal. The trio were on their way to cut down red sanders trees when the officials nabbed them. They have been subsequently shifted to Chandragiri Police Station and were identified as Ramamurthy (22), Govindaraj (30) and Allimutthu (37), hailing from Viluppuram district of Tamil Nadu.

Allimutthu was injured during this process as he tried to escape from the combing party and stumbled upon a rock, fracturing his leg. He was given treatment in Ruia Government Hospital. Speaking to The Hindu , officials said Allimutthu was an old offender with cases booked under Bhakarapet Police Station limits, and are questioning the trio.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 9:39:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/red-sanders-logs-worth-rs-15-cr-seized/article8032926.ece

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