Weeks after violence broke out at Sarsala village in Telangana, where a Forest Range Officer was attacked by a stick-wielding mob, the official in question, Anitha, has now been booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
According to media reports, Nayini Saroja, a resident of Sarsala, had written a complaint to the police that Anitha and the Forest Department staff had abused them by taking their 'caste' name. Following this, Anitha and 15 others were booked.
A case was registered with the Kagaznagar district police, even as Anitha on Sunday, received armed protection at her house, as she had claimed that she had feared for her life since the incident.
Last month, violence had broken out during an afforestation programme taken up by the state government.
A video of the incident shows a mob armed with sticks attempting to stall the programme even as Anitha gets on a tractor and attempts to pacify them. Not heeding to her request, they went ahead and thrashed her with sticks, following which she had to be rushed to the hospital.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Koneru Krishna, the brother of Sirpur MLA Koneru Konappa, was arrested for leading the mob.
In a press note, the Forest Divisional Officer in Kagaznagar alleged that the MLA’s brother and some locals carried out the attack as they had a ‘mala fide intention’ to occupy the Reserve Forest land. However, locals claimed that they had been cultivating the land for decades.
A case had been registered under Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 307 (Attempt to murder), 147 (Rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 427 (Mischief causing damage), 507 (Criminal intimidatio), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC.