A day after a forest officer C Anitha was attacked in Telangana by a mob and had to be rushed to a hospital for treatment, the Forest Department on Monday went ahead with its afforestation plans amid tight security.
Under heavy police security, officials reportedly planted 22,000 saplings in the contentious site of forest land, spread over 20 hectares, at Sarasala village in Kumarambheem Asifabad district's Kagaznagar mandal.
The accused Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Koneru Krishna, who is the brother of sitting Sirpur MLA Koneru Konappa, has already been arrested and also resigned his post as Zilla Parishad Vice Chairman.
#WATCH Telangana: Plantation by 400 officials from forest dept&police dept in Komaram Bheem's Sirpur Kagaznagar block in Asifabad y'day. Police&forest guards were attacked allegedly by TRS workers there,on 29 June during plantation. Forest Officer Anitha was injured in the attack pic.twitter.com/eXudzG3sKN‚ÄĒ ANI (@ANI) July 2, 2019
Earlier on Sunday, a video of the incident was widely shared on social media. The video showed a huge mob armed with sticks repeatedly attacking the vehicles as the officer, Anitha, was attempting to pacify them. Despite her requests, the mob refused to back down and instead hit her repeatedly with large sticks, until other police and forest department personnel stepped in and pushed the crowd back. It was Krishna who allegedly led the mob.
Telangana: Plantation was done by 400 officials from forest dept&police dept in Komaram Bheem's Sirpur Kagaznagar block in Asifabad y'day. Police&forest guards were attacked allegedly by TRS workers there,on 29 June during plantation. Forest Officer Anitha was injured in attack. pic.twitter.com/Ptnm7gMqQb‚ÄĒ ANI (@ANI) July 2, 2019
In a press note on Sunday, the Forest Divisional Officer in Kagaznagar alleged that the MLA‚Äôs brother and some locals carried out the attack as they had a ‚Äėmalafide intention‚Äô to occupy the Reserve Forest land.
As of Monday night, the police registered a case against 30 people in total, out of whom 24 had been arrested. The police have charged the accused with assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty, attempt to murder and rioting, among other sections.
Speaking to reporters at the hospital where she underwent treatment, Anitha broke down and said, ‚ÄúI was born in a village and come from a family who aren't literate. I studied in government colleges and joined the forces to do service to the society. I had never imagined that I would be beaten like this without even considering that I am a woman. I strongly object to this.‚ÄĚ