Tamil Nadu

Forest Range Officer held after tiff with HC judge’s son

Coimbatore District (Rural) Police on Thursday arrested Valparai Forest Range Officer K. Jayachandran on a charge of “misbehaving” with three persons, including the son of a judge of the Madras High Court, allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the hill station on Tuesday night. However, Forest staff held a protest alleging that it was a case of abuse of power.

The officer was arrested on Thursday evening for offences under Sections 294 B (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both), 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) and 4 (1) (j) (consumes or buys liquor or any intoxicating drug) of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act, police said.

He was arrested based on a complaint lodged by a head clerk of the judicial magistrate court, Valparai. The court remanded him in judicial custody.

Meanwhile, Forest Department staff staged a demonstration at Attakatti terming the police action an act of abuse of power. A statement issued by the Forest Department Officers Association, Anamalai Tiger Reserve branch, said it would go ahead with intense protest against the police action.

According to the police, three persons, including the son of a judge, were given accommodation at the Forest Department guest house at Sirukundra on Tuesday evening.

The police claimed that the Forest Range Officer came there late in the night and misbehaved with the three guests who had come out of the guest house. The officer was under the influence of alcohol, the police said.

Forest Department sources who are close to the arrested officer claimed that he merely advised the trio to stay inside the guest house as there could be movement of elephants and other wild animals at night. The three guests argued with him and one of them said he was the son of a High Court judge, they claimed.

M.S. Muthusamy, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Coimbatore range, insisted that the police did not have any pressure to register a case against the forest officer. “A medical test was done and he was found under the influence of alcohol,” he said.

Forest Department sources said accommodation for the three guests was arranged at a very short notice following a request from a court staff.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 10:20:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/forest-range-officer-held-after-tiff-with-hc-judges-son/article36641039.ece

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