Asifabad: Sirpur (T) MLA Koneru Konappa’s brother Koneru Krishna and his henchmen had attacked a woman Forest Range Officer (FRO), Chole Anitha, and other forest staff with sticks and wooden poles on Sunday.
Given the outrage expressed by the political establishment at the violent attempt by villagers to stop the tree planting by forest staff on land they cultivate, top police officers are camping at the site. The situation in the area is tense.
Kotha Sarasala village has turned into a battleground without an opponent. Nearly 320 forest officials, including Adilabad district conservator of forests, Vinod Kumar, Warangal CCF M.J. Akbar and staff from nine districts of Warangal and Karimnagar circles have been deployed at the site.
A 170-strong police force has also been stationed at the site.
Under heavy police security, forest department staff planted 22,000 saplings in the 20 hectares of forest land that was being cultivated by local people at Kotha-Sarasala village in Kagaznagar mandal in Kumarambheem Asifabad district on Monday.
Top police officials including Ramagundam police commissioner V. Satyanarayana, Mancherial SCP Rakshitha Krishnamurthy, Asifabad district Malla Reddy are also in Kotta Sarasala to ensure that the planting of saplings is a success.
Police also said any rallies, processions and meetings will not be allowed in the Kumarambheem Asifabad district for now.
This is the first time the government has used such a huge police and forest force to plant the saplings under Haritha Haram.
A video has surfaced on social networking sites showing local MLA Koneru Konappa (whose brother has been named as spearheading the attack) briefing some villagers about what to say to the media about the incident, and to say how forest officials harassed them and attempted to plough the land after they had sowed it....