KHAMMAM: As many as 20 persons including women and forest officials were injured in clashes between people and forest officials at Marrigudem village forest area in Chandrugonda mandal on Monday.
According to CI K Mallaiah Swamy, there was a rift between forest officials and tribals including some backward caste people for last few years over land issue at Marrigudem village.
The forest officials are claiming that some tribals and other caste people were cutting the forest and doing podu cultivation on forest land. But the tribals and others are claiming that for many years they are doing cultivation on those lands and they don’t have land.
According to sources, over 400 tribals and others are doing podu cultivation in 1,000 acres land near Marrigudem village for over nine years. Over 30 forest officials reached the controversial lands and dug trenches around the land with two earth movers on Monday. Meanwhile, 20 women reached the spot and asked the forest officials to stop the trench work but the forest officials allegedly attacked them and made lathi charge. In this incident M Surya Prakash Rao sustained injuries on head.
After knowing about the incident, hundreds of villagers reached the spot and pelted stones at forest officials. Tension prevailed in the village as forest officials and tribals engaged in the scuffle for nearly one hour. Over 20 persons from both sides have been injured.
K Krishnaveni, J Padma, A Venkata Laxmi and K Hemalatha, forest officials B Rama Krishna, Venkata Ratnam and some others have received serious injuries and shifted to Government Hospital in Kothagudem.