Following the attack on a woman forest official in Telangana while she was discharging her duties, TRS MLA Koneru Konappa has been caught on camera, trying to convince villagers to allegedly twist the version of what actually happened. Konappa’s brother Koneru Krishna Rao is the main accused in the case, and was arrested for leading a mob attack on the forest official.
On Sunday, a Forest Range Officer was attacked in Sarasala of Kagaznagar in Telangana's Asifabad district, by a mob led by Koneru Krishna Rao who is local Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader and Zilla Parishad Vice Chairman. The official was hit with sticks repeatedly and sustained injuries to her head. Hours after the incident sparked a row in the state, a video has surfaced from Kagaznagar, that shows the MLA telling local residents to twist Sunday’s episode.
"I will call the reporters, media,” the MLA tells the people gathered around him as he’s sat at a table, “Tell them that the forest officials were threatening you to not go to your lands. Say they’ve dug up our lands, our farms are inside, they’re threatening us not to get into our land.”
“Tell the media that they have beaten us 15 days back, and now also they’ve beaten us,” he says. According to local sources, he was referring to an incident around two weeks ago where residents and forest officials got into an argument. However, he was telling the villagers to exaggerate, as there was no violence from either side that day, the source said.
“I will call the reporters. You should all tell them this one by one," the MLA says.
Following the attack on Sunday, forest officials said that the MLA’s brother and other local residents assaulted them because they had a ‘malafide intention’ to occupy the Reserve Forest land, which is under Compensatory Afforestation programme as part of the Kaleshwaram irrigation project.
Krishna was arrested along with 12 others as a case was 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.
This was an alleged stand off between villagers (Sarasala)& forest officials around two weeks ago, yesterday at the same spot forest officers were attacked.Dis suggests that the issue is not new and has been brewing for sometime.#Telangana #forest #Asifabad pic.twitter.com/1HKQvnGhfd— CharanTeja (@CharanT16) July 1, 2019
Taking note of the incident, Telangana police authorities have placed Kagaznagar DySP and Rural CI under suspension on the charges of negligence in discharge of duties.
In a fresh development, forest authorities on Monday went and carried out a planting drive, that is currently underway amidst heavy police security in the contentious land.