The Easgaon Police in Telangana on Sunday booked Kagaznagar Forest Range Officer Anitha Chole and 14 other forest department officials after a complaint was lodged by a tribal villager, The Hindu reported. The complainant alleged that the forest officials assaulted the locals and abused them with casteist remarks. The 15 have been booked under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The complaint was registered by Naini Saroja, a local belonging to the Scheduled Tribes community and a resident of Kotha Sarasala in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. According to sub inspector Rajeshwar, the complaint stated that the officials hurled abuses at the villagers and also hit them with boots while the former were asking why the locals were planting saplings in the fields.

On June 30, Anitha was attacked by a mob, led by Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader Koneru Krishna. A video of the incident showed the mob, armed with sticks, repeatedly attacking vehicles even as Anitha stood atop a tractor and tried to pacify the mob. They then hit her with sticks till other police personnel stepped in.

The incident occurred while the forest department tried to carry out an afforestation programme in Kaghaznagar. Krishna, who is the brother of sitting Sirpur MLA Koneru Konappa, and 15 others had been arrested in the case.