Crime
The goats were freed after their owner paid a fine of Rs 1,000.

In a strange incident, two goats were ‘arrested’ in Huzurabad, Karimnagar district, Telangana on Tuesday for grazing on saplings planted by the government under the ‘Telanganaku Haritha Haram’ initiative. The ‘accused’ goats were found to be repeat offenders and were freed after the owner had to pay a fine of Rs 1,000. 

According to NGO ‘Save the Trees’, the goats had been repeatedly destroying the wild almond saplings planted under the Huzurabad municipality. The NGO had planted around 980 wild almond saplings at several public offices and hospitals. However, the goats turned out to be a menace and ate away at least 250 of them.

The NGO had complained about the goat menace to the police several times. However, on Tuesday, they caught the ‘accused’ red-handed, and handed them over to police.

“We had planted around 980 wild almond trees at school, hospital and police station premises using our own money. We had worked hard to acquire these plants, and then these goats started to come in and eat our plants,” said Kyasa Vikranth, a member of Save the Trees, told The New Indian Express.

According to The Hindu, the goats were released after their owner, Dornakonda Rajaiah, a resident of Kummariwada, was asked to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 to free them. 

Police advised Rajaiah to graze his goats on the outskirts of the town or to feed the animals at his house, without leaving them unsupervised. 

Telanganaku Haritha Haram is a state government initiative to increase the forest cover in the state to the mandated 33% as advocated by the Union government. 

As part of the programme, the government has spent crores of rupees to plant saplings and maintain them. All the departments in the state government are stakeholders in the initiative. Each department has been given a set target of planting saplings and ensure their survival.  

Read: How a Telangana govt official is guarding trees and saplings in his district