Two Forest Department employees sustained injuries in an attack allegedly by a group of tribals in a village in Telangana, days after the brutal assault of a woman forest officer that triggered an outrage.
Police said the two Forest personnel came under attack at Timmampet village in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district Monday night after they objected to ploughing of forest lands.
The injured have been admitted to a local government hospital, a police official said. Concerned over the attacks, representatives of Forest Department employees unions Tuesday met minister for forests Allola Indrakaran Reddy and sought setting up Fast Track Courts to punish the perpetrators and also to invoke the Preventive Detention Act against such attackers.
The minister assured them that the Government would stand by the employees and assured protection for the staff, an official release said.
Reddy advised that the department work in coordination with police and revenue officials to counter such incidents.
The fresh incident came on a day when the Sunday attack on 34-year old Forest Range Officer C Anita by a group of people, allegedly led by ruling TRS MLA Koneru Konappa's brother Krishna, evoked outrage with the issue echoing in Parliament.
The victim, who was discharged Tuesday from a private super speciality hospital here where she was admitted after being attacked with huge bamboo sticks, has said even animals are not hit this way.
Divisional Forest Officer Laxman Ranjit Nayak told PTI that Anitha was discharged Tuesday and would take rest for some days.
She was discharged today from the hospital. She is still in trauma. She will take rest for some days and join duty, Nayak said.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) Monday expressed concern and asked the state DGP to give a detailed action taken report on the attack in connection with which police have arrested the MLA's brother and 13 others on charges, including an attempt to murder.
Anitha, along with her staff and police, had gone to Sarasala village in KB Asifabad district for plantation on land under a compensatory afforestation scheme for Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project when she was attacked.
Video footage of the attack showed Anitha climbing onto a tractor to escape from the bamboo stick-wielding people.
Besides, the state Forest Department has lodged a complaint against TRS MLA Vanama Venkateswara Rao for allegedly "obstructing" construction of a wall for protection of forest land near Yellandu town on June 29, a charge denied by him.
On the latest incident involving the tribals, police said they have registered cases against 12 people.
Quoting the complaint from officials, police said trouble broke out Monday night when the two forest personnel, accompanied by other staff, tried to stop some villagers who were trying to plough forest land.
"The villagers attacked the officials when they were trying to seize a tractor used for ploughing.
We have registered cases against 12 persons, an official of Mulkalapally police station told reporters.
A Forest Department official, who was part of the team, said 'Guttikoyas' (tribals) came in large numbers and attacked them with sticks.
BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao hit out at the ruling TRS over the attacks on the personnel.
"When uniformed officials are being attacked, what are you waiting for. It looks as if his (Chief Minister K Chandrasekar) own MLAs are not listening to him," he said in a statement here.
The whole county saw how a woman official was attacked and yet there was no clear statement from the TRS or the head of the government or ministers so far, he charged.
Referring to the complaint against MLA Venkateswara Rao, the BJP leader alleged that the former and his son threatened forest officials when they were trying to build a protection wall for forest land.