The Forest Department was taking up an afforestation programme in Kagaznagar, as a part of the Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project, when a large mob attacked them on Sunday.

Telangana Forest dept resumes plantation drive a day after attack on its officerImage: Twitter/ANI
news Controversy Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - 10:09

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.

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.

In a press note on Sunday, the Forest Divisional Officer in Kagaznagar alleged that the MLA’s brother and some locals carried out the attack as they had a ‘malafide intention’ 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, “I 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.” 



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