Red Sanders smugglers become active when cops busy

Red Sanders smugglers become active when cops busy
Highlights

On Thursday night, a task force team led by RSI Vijay Narasimhulu started combing in Karakambadi forest area leading to the personnel finding a car with Maharashtra registration number, switching off the lights, sneaking into the forest area in the early hours of Friday

Tirupati: Is smugglers become active when the local police are otherwise busy with local developments like VIPs visit or major congregations like religious fete? The answer is interestingly affirmative, according to Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) sources quoting several incidents of smugglers making efforts to enter into the forests for smuggling of the precious red sanders logs taking advantage of local police personnel preoccupation.

On Thursday night, a task force team led by RSI Vijay Narasimhulu started combing in Karakambadi forest area leading to the personnel finding a car with Maharashtra registration number, switching off the lights, sneaking into the forest area in the early hours of Friday.

The smugglers fled away leaving behind the vehicle after the task force members surrounded them. The subsequent search of the vehicle led to the recovery of 10 red sanders logs, medicines and liquor bottles from the car.

The task force team sensing some more activity nearby resumed searches in the forest area forcing a 15-member gang of red sanders smugglers trying to enter the forests from Thimminaidupalem, flee back leaving behind large quantity of food grains, vegetables and medicines which were later recovered.

Sniffer dogs also pressed into service resulting in the detection of two red sanders logs in the bushes. A total 12 logs were recovered in the operation. RSASTF IG Dr M Kantha Rao said that the task force was able to save hundreds of red sanders trees from the axes of the smugglers and patted the team acting cleverly in preventing the smugglers.

Rao said that task force found that the smugglers are becoming active whenever the local police are busy with any major assignments like VVIPs visit and religious festival, pointing Chief Minister N Chandrababu visit to the pilgrim city to participate in a series of official programmes on Thursday.

During Brahmotsavam which draw thousands of pilgrims also the smugglers took the occasion to meet on the hills in the guise of common pilgrims to chalk out their plan before venturing into the forests in small batches of two or three so as not to draw the attention of task force and police.

The task force which has been deeply studying the movement of red sanders operatives found that they would try to enter the forest when the police is busy, outwitting them by stepping up the vigil at all entry points, he explained. This also reveals without any doubt, Rao said that smugglers were able to establish close contacts with some of the locals helping them to inform the development here.

Based on our three years of experience in combating red sanders smuggling were able to initiate effective measures to counter the smugglers taking advantage of police remaining busy, he averred.

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