K.T. Rama Rao (KTR,) the Working President of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS,) on the 30th of June, condemned the act of Koneru Krishna, a member of the TRS, against a Forest Department officer.
KTR took to Twitter and expressed his apology on behalf of the accused and assured strict action against Koneru Krishna.
I strongly condemn the atrocious behaviour of Koneru Krishna who attacked a forest officer who was doing her job. He has been arrested & a case booked already; no one is above law of the land
— KTR (@KTRTRS) June 30, 2019
On the 30th of June, Koneru Krishna, the Vice Chairperson of Komaram Bheem Asifabad Zila Parishad, attacked Chole Anitha, the Forest Officer of Kagaznagar, with a bamboo stick.
The incident took place when Anitha went to Sarasala village to plant saplings as a part of the Haritha Haram initiative of the TRS Government.
Later, a few goons and supporters of Krishna attacked Anitha, claiming the land where she was planting the saplings belongs to them. They ruthlessly attacked her and left her injured badly.
This is not the first time Koneru Krishna and Koneru Kannapa harassed and attacked government officials. In March 2018, Krishna and Konnapa allegedly assaulted a few Excise Department officials in Sirpur-Kagaznagar. A woman Excise Circle Inspector who went to confiscate a truck carrying jaggery prepared at an illegal manufacturing unit faced harassment from Konnapa.
Similar to the Forest Department, the Excise Officers’ Association lodged a complaint with the TRS President K. Chandrashekar Rao against Konappa, but no action was taken.
Ms. Anitha sustained serious injuries, a hand fracture and was admitted to a hospital for treatment.
P.K. Jha, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Department of Telangana, denied the claim of Krishna and said, the land belongs to the Forest Department.
Mr. Jha also said, the Forest Department also informed the same to the Koneru Kannapa, the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Sarsala and his brother Krishna. Jha said he will take the issue to higher authorities, demanding strict action against the accused.
Mr. Jha said, “It was 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.”
However, Koneru Kannapa, the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Sarasala, denied the involvement of his brother Krishna and said, “What the Forest Department is saying is wrong. The department officials tried to uproot crops on land that was being cultivated by locals for the past 30 to 40 years. When the locals went to protest, the police lathi charged them. Only then did my brother go to the spot, to try and resolve the issue.”
The Telangana Police immediately arrested Krishna and the other 16 accused and charged them under Sections 147, 148, 307, 332, 341, 353 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC.)
The TRS Government also asked Koneru Krishna to submit his resignation as the Vice Chairperson of the Zilla Parishad and member of the Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency from Kagaznagar.
The police also implemented Police Act, 1861 in the Komaram Bheem Asifabad district, which prohibits the gathering of people for violence or carrying any weapons and beefed up the security for the Forest Department officials.
The incident drew a lot of criticism against the K. Chandrashekar Rao led Government of Telangana. Opposition parties, the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP,) raised questions regarding women’s safety under the rule of the TRS Government.
Krishna Sagar Rao, the Chief Spokesperson of the BJP in Telangana, said, “The Chief Minister is sleeping in his farmhouse as always and has not come out with any statement, neither has the Home Minister. The MLA and his brother need to be booked and prosecuted for this heinous attack. The BJP demands immediate action and an explanation by the CM on this unacceptable behaviour by an MLA and his brother. We extend our support to the lady officer.”
Harish, the INC in charge of Sirpur and Kagaznagar, said, “We condemn the incident and demand action against both the MLA and his brother as they instigated the attack by the mob. Koneru Krishna must be suspended from the TRS.”
The Telangana Police assured strict action will be taken against the accused and an investigation for the same is underway.
Stay tuned for further updates.