Two days after a forest officer in Telangana was attacked by a mob led by a local leader of the ruling TRS, two forest officers were injured after they were attacked in the state, allegedly by a group of villagers. The officers were trying to stop them from illegally cultivating forest land.
Forest officers Neelamaiah and Bhaskar Rao were thrashed by villagers with sticks in a village in Telangana's Bhadradri Kothagudem district on Tuesday. The officials suffered multiple injuries and were taken to hospital.
No arrests have been made despite the forest officers complaining to the police. The police said a case has been registered and that the matter is being investigated.
"The police will take strict action against those involved in the attack on government officials discharging their duties. We have assured forest officials to provide them security when they remove forest encroachment," a senior police officer in the district said.
Another incident of a forest official being intimidated allegedly by a ruling party politician on Sunday has emerged from Telangana. Cases have been registered against TRS legislator V Venkateswara Rao and his son after they, along with their supporters, allegedly tried to stop forest officials from construction of a wall to protect forest land on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, forest officer Chole Anitha was attacked by Krishna Rao, a local body leader and his supporters. He belongs to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and is the brother of party legislator Koneru Konappa. The officer, defenceless, was left bleeding and injured after she was attacked violently in Kumuram Bheem Asifabad district when she went for a tree plantation drive.
Sixteen people, including Koneru Krishna, have been arrested and more are likely to be taken into custody, district police chief Malla Reddy told NDTV.
Subsequently a video went viral where the ruling party MLA Koneru Konappa is seen telling some tribals that they must tell the media that they were being harassed and beaten up by the police and that they had sought the help of his brother Koneru Krishna.
In a show of solidarity with the woman forest officer who was attacked, all officers of the district and surrounding areas gathered on Monday to complete the plantation work that Anitha had set out to do on Sunday.
(with inputs from IANS)