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42 wood cutters held

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20 tonnes of red sanders logs seized Tirupati: The Tirupati Urban police and Task Force staff in a joint operation on Wednesday arrested 42 wood...

20 tonnes of red sanders logs seized

Tirupati: The Tirupati Urban police and Task Force staff in a joint operation on Wednesday arrested 42 wood cutters while smuggling the dressed red sanders logs from Seshachala forest to Tamil Nadu. The police have seized about 20 logs weighing one tonne each, which cost about Rs 50 lakhs.

Urban SP SV Rajasekhar Babu briefed the media. Deoyty SP Ilias Basha and his staff and the task force team led by Udaya Kumar arrested the wood cutters near KMM College on Tirupati-Chittoor highway. The wood cutters are from Vellore, Tiruvannamali, Villupuram, Dharmapuri and Salem districts.

Urban SP said that the arrested wood cutters have revealed the details of a middleman Asokan, native of Padavedi village in Kannamangalam panchayat of Vellore district. The culprits revealed that the market price of red sanders in Tamil Nadu is about Rs 900 per kg and the middleman Asokan is paying them the same price, he added.

Urban SP said that 76 cases have been filed in connection with smuggling of red sander logs this year by arresting 615 wood cutters and smugglers. Out of these 615, the local people of Chittoor district were 86 and all the remaining 529 are from various parts of Tamil Nadu, SP said. As many as 47 vehicles were seized by police and forest officials so far this year in which 9 were lorries, he said.

The seizure of RS logs by this police station this year was about 25 tonnes and eleven vehicles by arresting 497 persons.

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