Tamil Nadu

Ground zero for red sanders smugglers

Vellore shares a border with Andhra Pradesh. Red sanders smuggling is a major issue here with villagers going over to the Seshachalam forests near Tirupati for cutting the logs.

Most often villagers from Jamunamaruthur and Tirupathur are roped in for cutting the red sanders. Agents hire them and give them a hefty amount for chopping the logs. This happens despite a crackdown. In 2015, a total of 20 woodcutters from Tamil Nadu, predominantly from Vellore and Tiruvanamalai, were shot dead.

After chopping the red sanders, the logs are smuggled into Tamil Nadu through Vellore. They are concealed in agricultural land or godowns and then taken to Chennai after some weeks or months. With multiple ways to reach Vellore from Andhra Pradesh, smugglers prefer to operate in the region. Police officers say coordinated surveillance with forest officials is called for at the checkposts to ceck the menace.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 2:57:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ground-zero-for-red-sanders-smugglers/article30892007.ece

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