Week after shocking moments of a mob thrashing a woman forest officer and her team in Telangana went viral, there are reports that Forest Range Officer C Anitha has been booked under SC/ST Act. According to a report by the Deccan Chronicle, the state police have filed a case against Anitha and 15 others under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act after a complaint was filed by one local alleging caste abuse. The case has been registered in Kagaznagar district. The complainant has been identified as one Saroja, who has alleged that Anitha and other forest range officials had abused them by taking their caste name. After the video went viral, the police arrested TRS MLA Koneru Konappa’s brother Krishna and his followers for assaulting the forrest range staff. Later, Anitha was also given police security.
On June 30, the Telangana woman forest department official was attacked with huge sticks by workers of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district over a land issue. C Anitha – who was leading preparations for a tree plantation drive – was attacked allegedly by people led by the brother of a TRS lawmaker.
Superintendent of Police Malla Reddy said Koneru Krishna, brother of TRS MLA Koneru Kannappa, was arrested and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Forest department officials said that C Anitha suffered bleeding injuries before other officers and police could intervene. She was admitted to a hospital. Speaking to reporters from the hospital, Anitha alleged that Krishna first hit her with a bamboo stick, followed by the others in the group.
The visuals – which had gone viral, showed the forest officer trying to explain that they were following the instructions of the government when people attacked her with huge wooden sticks.
Officials said Anitha had gone to Sarasala village with some officials to plant saplings as part of the government's 'Haritha Haram' green initiative programme when some villagers, claiming that the land belongs to them.
Telangana Principal Chief Conservator of Forest P K Jha said the land where the officials went belonged to the forest department and the MLA was also informed about it.
He said the department would take this issue seriously "at a higher level".
"It was a forest land. I was given to understand that earlier there were some attempts to encroach it. That time our people got them vacated. It was totally under our control. There is no cultivation. His (MLAs) brother was there (during the attack)," Jha told PTI.