The National Commission for Women on Monday directed the Telangana Police to ensure a speedy investigation into the assault on a woman forest range officer in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.

A mob led by Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader Koneru Krishna had attacked forest range officer Anitha Chole during an afforestation programme in Kaghaznagar on Sunday. Chole alleged that Krishna had first hit her with a bamboo stick, followed by the others in the group.

National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma said the panel is “seriously concerned” about the brutal crime against officials and women performing their duty.

“Considering the gravity of the matter, I request you to ensure swift and speedy investigation in the matter and send a detailed action taken report to the commission at an early date by e-mail and fax,” Sharma said in a letter to Telangana Director General of Police M Mahendar Reddy.

Anitha Chole, who is undergoing treatment in Hyderabad, said she feared a threat to her life, according to Hindustan Times. “I am scared of those people,” she said. “They might kill me after coming out of jail. I am very scared.” Krishna, who is the brother of Sirpur MLA Koneru Konappa, and 15 others were arrested following the incident.

She alleged that Krishna had abused forest officials and pushed away police personnel in order to attack them. “I requested him to maintain restraint, but he was in no mood to listen,” she said. “He targeted me and even as I escaped from him and climbed a tractor, he and his followers assaulted me with sticks.”

Chole recalled that her predecessors had faced similar threats and attacks from the local leaders. “They are known for instigating the tribals to attack forest officials.”

She demanded that Konappa be sacked from the party and as a legislator. “I hail from a poor family and have become a forest range officer by working hard,” she said. “I never imagined that they would assault a woman officer in uniform.”