WARANGAL: Forest officials had a narrow escape on Tuesday, after being chased by axe-wielding tribals of the Guttikoya community while carrying out trenching work in the forests between Thadvai and Kothaguda mandals.
There was no injury or property damage in the incident, but officials were angry over being sent into the forest without security cover.
Forest range officer Md. Wazahath of Kothaguda had ordered officials in the Ootai forest area to visit Buddha Gadda and undertake trenching work on podu land which was being cultivated by the Guttikoyas.
A team of officials reached the spot with a poclain machine and were about to start work when tribals, wielding knives and axes, tried to attack them.
The forest officials retreated quickly with the machine.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, forest section officer (FSO) Lakpathi said that as per the orders issued by higher officials, they reached the Buddha Gadda area and after identifying that around 15 acres of forest land were being cultivated, tried to fix the trench.
He said that around 30 members of the Guttikoya community threatened them.
“We tried to convince them saying that they are doing work as per the issued by their seniors officials and if they had any issues regarding their livelihood, they can visit the district headquarters and can seek solution,” Lakpathi said.
He said that they asked the tribals to get a no-objection letter or permission from higher authorities within two days, managing to exit the area on the day.
- The Kothaguda forest range is a major forest region, which is spread over 6,500 hectares, between Mahbubabad and Mulugu districts.
- The Rampur North beat forest region of the Kothaguda forest range in Mahbubabad district extends up to Jagganna Gudem of Thadvai mandal in Mulugu district.
- In between Rampur North beat and Jagganna Gudem forest is the Buddha Gadda forest region, which is home to Guttikoya tribals, who have been cultivating forest lands for a living.
- The Buddha Gadda forest is in a remote area, where there is no supply of electricity and does not have a cell tower.
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