Tamil Nadu

84 woodcutters nabbed near AP check post

Task force officials display wood cutting implements recovered on Friday.

Task force officials display wood cutting implements recovered on Friday.   | Photo Credit: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar

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They were taken in a truck that was meant for transporting cattle

Sleuths of the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force here nabbed 84 woodcutters from Tamil Nadu near the Anjaneyapuram check post on the Chennai–Kadapa highway in the early hours of Friday. They were allegedly employed for felling red sanders trees in Seshachalam forests.

According to sources, task force officials, on a tip-off about the deployment of woodcutters/smuggling operatives from Arcot in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, formed four groups and zeroed in on a truck used for transporting the woodcutters to an entry point into the Seshachalam forests.

The four teams converged on the vehicle from Chandragiri, Renigunta, Karakambadi and took the operatives into custody. The officials found nearly 84 operatives crammed in the loading bay of the truck, which they said was generally used for transporting cattle. Investigation revealed the presence of a few students among the operatives. Details are yet to be ascertained.

The officials recovered axes, hacksaws and other wood-cutting implements with provisions for their stay in the forests.

The early morning arrest of 84 Tamil Nadu men in Andhra Pradesh is a pointer to the huge population of Jawadhu’s tribe being engaged in felling of red sander trees. Nabbed by the Red Sanders Anti Smuggling Task Force of AP for reportedly being employed to cut down red sanders in Seshachalam forests, Forty two of them were are Vellore district, and an equal number from Tiruvannamalai district.

The operatives will soon be presented before the mandal magistrate in Renigunta for further action.

(With inputs from Serena Josephine M. in Vellore)

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 4:23:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/84-woodcutters-nabbed-near-ap-check-post/article22916411.ece

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