Telangana

Two Forest Officers drown in Pranahita river on Telangana-Maharashtra border

Forest beat officers Banoth Suresh (left) and Balakrishna Munjam (centre) who drowned in a boat capsize on the Pranahita river at Gudem in Chintalamanepalli mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on December 1, 2019. Saddam (right) swam to safety. Photo: Special Arrangement

Forest beat officers Banoth Suresh (left) and Balakrishna Munjam (centre) who drowned in a boat capsize on the Pranahita river at Gudem in Chintalamanepalli mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on December 1, 2019. Saddam (right) swam to safety. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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The country boat they were travelling on capsized in Pranahita river

An early morning reconnaissance of the forest area under their jurisdiction undertaken by three recently recruited forest beat officers (FBO) in Kagaznagar Forest Division of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district turned into a tragedy on Sunday as two of them drowned in Pranahita river flowing on the Inter State border with Maharashtra at Gudem in Chintalamanepalli mandal. The three of them had crossed the bridge on foot to the other side of the border but had boarded a country fishing boat on return journey which capsized mid stream drowning FBOs Banoth Suresh and Munjam Balakrishna.

The bodies of the ill-fated forest officials could not be traced despite deployment of six teams of swimmers and fishermen by administrations of both neighbouring districts and the search was called off as darkness fell. Authorities have requested the government for deployment of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams for searching the bodies.

Recent entrants

Banoth Suresh, hailing from Kerameri mandal and Munjam Balakrishna of Kagaznagar, both in KB Asifabad district and Saddam, belonging to Bellampalli in Mancherial district, had gone for a reconnaissance-cum-morning walk. “The young officers, aged between 24 years and 27 years were known to perambulate the area for checking forest crimes and they had done so the previous night too,” KB Asifabad DFO Ranjeet L. Naik and Kagaznagar Forest Divisional Officer Vijay Kumar told The Hindu.

The small boat was apparently overloaded as it had three others in the shape of the boatman and his assistant and a milkman besides the three officials which resulted in its capsizing in the strong current in the Pranahita which is about 800 metres wide at the spot.

Saddam and the three others managed to swim ashore while Suresh and Balakrishna drowned. The three officials had joined the forest force about three months back, Suresh being the most recent recruit as he had joined the forest force on November 16. They were working in the Gudem section of the forest since then.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 4:51:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/two-forest-officers-drown-in-pranahita-river-on-telangana-maharashtra-border/article30129679.ece

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