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Forest officials attacked; one dead, 7 hurt

Forest officials attacked; one dead, 7 hurt
Highlights

In a gruesome incident, a forest officer was reportedly beaten to death by some unidentified ‘villagers’ in Nizamabad district on Saturday night. The deceased was identified as Forest Range Officer (FRO) Gangaiah of Indalvai Range. Seven other officials injured in the attack were shifted to the district government hospital.

Police suspect the hand of timber smugglers

Nizamabad: In a gruesome incident, a forest officer was reportedly beaten to death by some unidentified ‘villagers’ in Nizamabad district on Saturday night. The deceased was identified as Forest Range Officer (FRO) Gangaiah of Indalvai Range. Seven other officials injured in the attack were shifted to the district government hospital.

A team of officials Rural DSP Anil Kumar, Nizamabad DFO Bheema Nayak, CIs Srisailam and Srinivas and others inspected the site of offence in the forest and shifted the body of the deceased to hospital for post-mortem. A case was registered. Police suspect the hand of timber smugglers in the killing of the forest official.

Forest Minister Sathrucharla Vijayarama Raju said the government took a serious view of the incident and would arrest the culprits soon. Speaking to the media in Visakhapatnam, he said measures would be taken to ensure security of forest officials during such raids.

According to sources, the incident occurred in the Nallavelli forest area near K K Thanda in Dharpalli mandal. The forest officer had received complaints that some persons were involved in cutting trees and converting the area into agriculture land. There were also complaints that some smugglers were involved in felling trees and transportation of timber.

Following the complaints, seven forest officials went to the forest to verify the facts. On seeing the officials, a large number of people attacked them with sticks. The miscreants threw chilli powder into the eyes of officials before attacking them, it is suspected. As the villagers were in large numbers, the officials fled the scene. However, the miscreants beat up Gangaiah severely and he died on the spot due to bleeding injuries. The injured officials are Bhumaiah, Moinuddin, Surender and two others.

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