Telangana

Woman forest range officer attacked in Telangana, TRS MLA's brother arrested

Forest officer Chole Anitha being attacked by villagers at Sarasala village in Kagaznagar manda of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on Sunday.

Forest officer Chole Anitha being attacked by villagers at Sarasala village in Kagaznagar manda of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on Sunday.  

Kagaznagar Forest Officer Chole Anitha and her staff were attacked with bamboo sticks by Zilla Parishad vice-chairperson Koneru Krishna and his supporters at Sarasala village in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district of Telangana on Sunday.

According to a Forest Department official, Ms. Anitha had gone to Sarasala to plant saplings as part of the government’s ‘Haritha Haram’ green initiative when some people, led by Krishna, attacked them, claiming that the land belonged to them.

Ms. Anitha had her hand fractured, while a Forest Beat Officer was injured. Both were being treated at a private hospital in Kagaznagar. Krishna is the younger brother of Sirpur MLA Koneru Konappa, and both belong to the ruling TRS.

Kagaznagar Forest Range Office Anitha Chole who was injured in an attack at Sarasala village near Kagaznagar town in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on Julne 30, 2019. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kagaznagar Forest Range Office Anitha Chole who was injured in an attack at Sarasala village near Kagaznagar town in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on Julne 30, 2019. Photo: Special Arrangement  

 

Telangana Principal Chief Conservator of Forests P.K. Jha said the land belonged to the forest department and the MLA was also informed about it.

He said the department would take up this issue seriously at a higher level.

“It was forest land. I was given to understand that earlier there were some attempts to encroach it. That time our people got them vacated. It was totally under our control.”

The woman officer accompanied by 40 Forest Department personnel and 30 policemen had gone to take up plantation on the 20-hectare degraded forest land. This was part of compensatory afforestation for the land lost in the Kaleshwaram project.

The villagers who objected to the forest personnel clearing the place for taking up plantation suddenly attacked the officials and damaged the tractor they had brought for ploughing.

Officials suspended

Of the 16 accused, the police arrested Krishna and his close associate Boora Posham. They were charged with attempt to murder, beating up government officials, damaging public property, possession of deadly weapons and unlawful assembly under Sections 147, 148, 307, 332, 341, 353, and 427 read with 149 of the IPC. The police clamped prohibitory orders under Section 30, Police Act, 1861, in the entire KB Asifabad district. The order prohibits gathering of people or carrying weapons.

Meanwhile, the prime accused sent in his resignation as ZP vice-chairperson and Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency member from Kagaznagar.

He claimed harassment by forest officials with regard to cultivation of podu lands. Kagaznagar Forest Divisional Officer M. Raja Ramana Reddy said the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police had been apprised of the action being initiated by the Forest Department to take up plantation. They had been requested to provide police protection.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 5:39:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/woman-forest-range-officer-attacked-by-villagers-in-telangana/article28234081.ece

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