Red sanders worth Rs.2 cr. seized, smugglers give a slip

March 16, 2015 12:01 pm | Updated May 24, 2016 11:38 am IST - CHITTOOR:

About 200 hired workers, acting on behalf of smugglers, from Salem District in Tamil Nadu launched an attack on the joint force of police and forest guards at Krishnapuram village of Renigunta mandal in the wee hours of Monday. Before fleeing the scene, near Tirupati, the smugglers abandoned Rs. 2-Crore worth of red sander logs.

A combing party was moving at Cheendragunta in the thick Mamandur forest beat from Sunday evening, when they spotted the movement of hired workers carrying the red sander logs. The party called for reinforcement from Tirupati.

Around midnight, additional force led by Wildlife Divisional Forest Officer G. Srinivasulu joined the team. Seeing the forces, the workers pelted stones at the police party. The 60-member striking force, however, chased the attackers from Cheendragunta to Rallakaluva, a distance 10 k.m. By wee hours, the workers abandoned the logs at various points and fled. In all, 180 logs were seized weighing about 5.5 tonnes.

Task Forece DIG M. Kantha Rao speaking to The Hindu rejected the rumors that the combing party opened fire at the hired workers. "No incident of opening fire took place," he said.

The Wildlife DFO said that only one worker among a huge mob was nabbed. "We have received vital information from him. The entire workforce is very new to the terrain," he said.

The seized logs were shifted to the area godown at Tirupati.

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