Nation Crime 23 Nov 2022 Tribals hack forest ...

Tribals hack forest officer to death over podu land issue

Published Nov 23, 2022, 3:13 am IST
Updated Nov 23, 2022, 6:51 am IST
Chalamala Srinivas Rao, the forest officer, who was hacked to death by tribals. (Image: Twitter)
 Chalamala Srinivas Rao, the forest officer, who was hacked to death by tribals. (Image: Twitter)

KOTHAGUDEM: The ongoing conflict over podu lands took a violent turn on Tuesday, with tribals of the Gothikoya community hacking a forest range officer (FRO) to death in Bendalampadu of Kothagudem district.

The incident took place when the victim, C.H. Srinivasa Rao, and section officer Rama Rao were inspecting saplings planted by the forest department in Chandrugonda mandal. Rama Rao said that tribals were spotted cutting down saplings planted by them and a heating argument ensued, following which they attacked the FRO.

“The attack on FRO C.H. Srinivasa Rao took place in a fraction of seconds. I was shocked when two Gothikoyas approached him from the back and he fell to the ground. Another Gothikoya sliced his neck,” Rama Rao said.

He was immediately rushed to a primary health centre, administered first aid and shifted to a private hospital in Khammam, where he died during treatment, the police said. He was attacked with sharp-edged objects, including sickles and axes, on his chest, neck and face, they said.

Meanwhile, the police arrested 10 persons from the spot, including the two attackers, identified as Tholem Thoola and Nandu. They are also probing if Maoists played a role in the incident, as indicated by the mode of attack.

Kothagudem DSP Venkateswara Babu, however, said that there is no such information with them. He said that they took some of them into custody including the main suspects. “We will give full information only on Wednesday,” he said.

Srinivasa Rao was a native of Eerlapudi in Raghunadhapalem mandal. He was a plant and tree enthusiast, having a vast knowledge of every plant species in the forest.

His brother-in-law, B. Satyam, demanded that the Chief Minister order a judicial inquiry into the murder.

Chief Conservator of Forest Bhimla Naik, district forest officer Siddhartha Vikram Singh, and forest range officer Radhika visited the hospital. P. Ajay Kumar, minister of transport, and A. Indrakaran Reddy, minister of forests, will attend his funeral in Eerlapudi on Wednesday.

Location: India, Telangana, Khammam


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