Telangana: A woman forest department official was injured on Sunday after being attacked with sticks by some people allegedly led by the brother of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) MLA. The incident took place at Sirpur Kagaznagar block of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district during Telangana government’s tree plantation drive, ‘Haritha Haaram’.
As a video footage of the attack on Forest Range Officer (FRO) C Anitha and forest department staff went viral on social media, the police in a swift action arrested Koneru Krishna Rao, brother of Sirpur MLA Koneru Kannappa. According to the police, Anitha had identified a reserve forest land and started planting saplings with a team of forest guards when some villagers objected and claimed that the land belonged to them.
The villagers informed Koneru Krishna Rao about the plantation drive. Rao reached the spot with his supporters and the villagers along with Rao’s supporters attacked the forest staff.
The video footage shows Anitha climbing a tractor when Rao followed and brutally assaulted her with a bamboo stick, hitting her several times on the head. They also engaged in a scuffle with other police staff. The lady officer has been hospitalised.
#WATCH Telangana: A police team & forest guards were attacked allegedly by Telangana Rashtra Samithi workers in Sirpur Kagaznagar block of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district, during a tree plantation drive. (29.06.2019) pic.twitter.com/pZ0H3Qg2Ud
- ANI (@ANI) June 30, 2019
The forest department maintained that the land where the plantation drive was to be conducted belonged to it and indicated that there were some attempts to encroach it. "The land where the officials went belonged to the forest department and the MLA was also informed about it," Telangana Principal Chief Conservator of Forest P K Jha told news agency PTI. He added that the issue the MLAs brother was there during the attack.