A week after a Telangana forest officer was assaulted by a group of people, allegedly including TRS MLA Koneru Konappa’s brother Koneru Krishna Rao, police said they had extended armed security for her.
Anita, a Forest Range Officer, was assaulted with a stick last week during a plantation drive in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district. A day after her assault, over 700 forest department personnel protested by conducting an afforestation drive at the same spot.
“As a precautionary measure, and after assessing the situation, and in view of threat perception, one gunman security has been given to the woman FRO, while 2+2 security has been extended to the forest divisional officer,” a senior police official told PTI.
The footage of her assault went viral on social media, after which the Telangana Police arrested Rao.
TRS MLA Koneru Konappa’s brother assaults woman forest officer at a village in Telangana. Forest Range Officer C Anita went to Sarasala village in Sirpur Mandal to take part in a plantation drive. pic.twitter.com/jE5GitgZRj
Meanwhile, Anita suffered a hairline fracture on her wrist and was shifted to the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Hyderabad the next day.
“I am feeling good now, I was able to eat and talk to my family. I was scared and shocked at the violence unleashed on me and my colleagues. My head and hands, which are swollen, still hurt. I should be fine in a couple of days, and I want to join duty as soon as possible,” she said.
Officials said that Anita, who had identified a reserve forest land in Sirpur Mandal’s Sarasala village, started planting saplings along with 20 other forest department officials when villagers objected, claiming ownership of the land.
The villagers then informed Rao, who arrived on the spot with supporters and allegedly started attacking the staff. Anita tried to escape by climbing on to a tractor but Rao followed her and brutally assaulted her with a stick, hitting her several times on the head.
“Without even asking why the forest officials had gone there, the villagers and Krishna Rao launched a brutal assault on our officials. Without even considering that the FRO is a woman, the men armed with stick and rods surrounded her and beat her up. The officials had gone there to plant saplings on forest land, it is government’s land,” a forest officer said.
After Rao’s arrest, police said that both the brothers had a history of assaulting government officials, especially women officers.
According to sources, the brothers are known to violently confront authorities — police, forest department, excise, prohibition and municipal authorities.