Tribals kill forest officer objecting felling of trees

Tribals kill forest officer objecting felling of trees
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G Srinivas Rao Forest Range Office (FRO) Chandragonda ( file photo), who was killed by the Guthikoya tribals in Kothagudem district on Tuesday

Highlights

The tribals surrounded and attacked him with axes and knives

Kothagudem: A Forest Range Officer (FRO) was killed by the Guthikoya tribals in the district on Tuesday.

The incident occurred at Errabodu plantation at Bendalapadu village of Chandrugonda mandal in the district.

According to sources, the Ranger Chelamala Srinivas Rao (47) along with his assistant staff Rama Rao

(section officer) noticed the felling of trees in the plantation by the Guthikoya tribals at Errabodu plantation at Bendalapadu in Chandrugonda mandal.

The officials tried to stop them from felling of the trees. A heated argument between the officials and Guthikoya tribals followed. Suddenly, a group of Guthikoya tribal launched an attack on the forest officials with sharp knives and axes.

While forest section officer Rama Rao narrowly escaped with minor injuries in this incident, Ranger Srinivas Rao was surrounded by the tribals who attacked him indiscriminately with sharp axes and knifes. They cut the throat of the forest officer in the attack. Srinivas who suffered severe bleeding injuries on his head and neck fell down unconsciously in the forest.

On receiving the news about the incident, the forest officials rushed to the spot and shifted Srinivas Rao to the government hospital at Chandrugonda. On doctors' advice he was shifted to a private hospital in Khammam. The forest officer died while undergoing treatment in the evening.

After the incident police force entered into the forest and are searching for the tribals responsible for the death of the forest official.

DSP Kothagudem G Venkateswara Babu informed that no one was arrested so far. The police are conducting search for Guthikoya tribals who involved in this case.

Meanwhile, Forest Minister A Indrakaran Reddy expressed grief over the death of the Srinivas Rao and extended condolences to bereaved family. He assured that stern action would be initiated against the offenders and stated that encroachment of forest lands would not be tolerated.

The Stae government is committed in addressing the podu lands issues and measures are being taken up accordingly. Attacking a forest official, who was doing his duty, is intolerable, the Minister said in a statement here, adding that steps would be taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future.

He said, the last rites will be conducted with State honours in his native Eerlapudi village under Raghunadhapalem mandal in Khammam district.

Forest Department employees also condemned the attack:

`50 lakh ex gration announced

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has grief over killing of FRO by the Gutthikoya tribals in the district. He extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved family and ordered DGP M Mahender Reddy to take stern action and punish offenders involved in this incident. He directed officials to provide full salary of Srinivas Rao family members till the age of his retirement. He announced Rs 50 lakh, house site and job for kin.

On the other hand, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar ordered the district administration to perform the last rites of the FRO with State honours and make arrangements accordingly. Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar and Forest Minister A Indrakaran Reddy will attend the FRO's funeral from the government side.

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