TIRUPATI: In yet another instance of face-off between red sanders smugglers and police, the latter reportedly opened fire on them after coming under attack in the forest areas of Chittoor and Kadapa districts.
Meanwhile, huge haul of red sanders logs were seized in Kadapa and Nellore districts. Though both the police and forest department officials claim that the menace of red sanders smuggling came down to a great extent for sometime, Monday’s seizures and clashes once again exposed the fact that the smuggling is still going on unabated in Chittoor, Kadapa and Nellore districts, which have abundant cover of the precious trees.
Though both the departments dealing with smuggling are putting in efforts and continuing combing operations deep inside the forests for chasing away the smugglers and even imposing Preventive Detention Act (PD Act), the smugglers are continuing with their activities once the police retreat from the forests.
In Balupalle forest range of Kadapa, a combing party of police had to open fire against the smugglers when the latter rained stones on the them on coming face-to-face. Though some of the smugglers managed to flee, the police could arrest nine of them.
In another incident, the combing party and the red sanders smugglers had reportedly clashed at Kanathala Kona in Bakarapet area of the Seshachalam forest.
While unconfirmed reports said the police opened fire against smugglers in Kanathala Kona forest area, both the forest and police officials refuted the same and maintained that the combing party only had chased away the smugglers after finding them with large quantities of food items and tree-cutting tools.