BALASORE: Five forest officials were roughed up by a group of villagers of Rairampur under Nilagiri police limits while they were arresting a poacher on Thursday.
The villagers also snatched away the service revolver of Forest Ranger Laxman Pradhan, who was mercilessly beaten up. Besides Pradhan, foresters Naresh Singh, Sukumar Das, guard Minarani Behera and watcher Budhia Singh were attacked. The whereabouts of another guard, Anandi Singh, are not known.
The injured were rescued by police in the evening and admitted to Nilagiri Hospital. They are out of danger and recovering.
Sources said the six forest officials, led by Pradhan, had gone to the village to arrest a poacher from whose house they had seized a gun and deer horns.
The locals prevented the officials from arresting the poacher and attacked them.
After beating them up mercilessly, they detained them till police, on a tip off, rescued them.
Confirming the incident, DFO Harsabardhan Udgata said the officials have been rescued and are undergoing treatment.
Meanwhile, armed police forces have been rushed to the village to arrest the poacher and search the missing guard.
Search operation is also on to locate the service revolver snatched from the forest ranger.