Hours after a Forest Range Officer in Telangana was attacked as she was discharging her duties, by a mob led by a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader, party Working President KT Rama Rao condemned the atrocious behaviour of the accused. The accused TRS leader Koneru Krishna, who is the brother of sitting Sirpur MLA Koneru Konappa, was arrested and also resigned his post as Zilla Parishad Vice Chairman. A case was also registered against 15 others, besides Krishna.
"I strongly condemn the atrocious behaviour of Koneru Krishna who attacked a forest officer who was doing her job. He has been arrested and a case booked already; no one is above law of the land," KTR tweeted.
Earlier on Sunday, a video of the incident – which showed a huge mob armed with sticks repeatedly attacking vehicles as the officer, Anitha, attempted to pacify them – was widely shared on social media. Despite her requests, the mob refused to back down and hit her repeatedly with large sticks, until other police and Forest department personnel stepped in and pushed the crowd back.
The incident took place as the Forest Department was attempting to take up an afforestation programme in Kaghaznagar on Sunday, as a part of the Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project.
The BJP and the Congress had condemned the attack on the officer by the mob.
In a press note, the Forest Divisional Officer, Kaghaznagar alleged that the MLA’s brother and the locals carried out the attack as they had a ‘malafide intention’ to occupy the Reserve Forest land.
Speaking to TNM earlier on Sunday, Koneru Konappa denied the allegations and claimed that his brother was not involved in the attack and had only gone to the spot to pacify locals. He said that the attack on Anitha was the result of a confrontation between locals and officials.
In his resignation letter to the Asifabad Collector, Koneru Krishna cited 'high-handedness' of Forest officials as the reason for the attack.
The police said that Krishna and his aide have been arrested and that the remaining people involved will also be arrested soon.
A case has 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.