Two forest department officials were assaulted early on Tuesday at Thimmampet area of Mulkalapally mandal in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana, The New Indian Express reported. The attack came after a forest range officer in Telangana was attacked by a mob, led by Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader Koneru Krishna, on Sunday.
The group allegedly attacked the forest officials with sticks. Forest section officer Veesam Neelamaiah was severely injured and has been admitted to a government hospital in Palvoncha.
“Acting on a tip-off, the forest staff had reached compartment 344 at around 2 am where they found a person identified as Karam Erraiah along with 10 others ploughing forest land,” district police officials said. District Superintendent of Police Sunil Dutt clarified that the forest department authorities had not availed of police assistance.
Mulkalpally Police has registered a case against those involved in the attack. “We have requested the forest officials to inform the police and have promised to provide security to them while removing forest encroachments,” The Hindu quoted Dutt as saying.
On Monday, Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA Vanama Venkateshwara Rao and his son Raghava were booked for allegedly obstructing forest department officials from performing their duty at Lothuvagu village in Kothagudem district, The News Minute reported. Forest Range Officer MRP Rao told the local police that the lawmaker, his son, and three others had verbally abused the forest officials at Lothuvagu village.
An argument broke out after forest department officials started constructing a protective wall at Lothuvagu village. About 80 locals led by former Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies member Punem Srinu reached the spot.
In another incident on Sunday, a mob led by Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader Koneru Krishna had attacked forest range officer Anitha Chole during an afforestation programme in Kaghaznagar. Chole alleged that Krishna had first hit her with a bamboo stick, followed by the others in the group.
A video of the episode also started doing the rounds on social media. The National Commission for Women on Monday directed the Telangana Police to ensure a speedy investigation into the assault on the forest officer.