TN Man Killed for Felling Redwood

40-yr-old from T’malai is the fourth to be gunned down by Special Task Force in AP in a span of one month

Published: 23rd June 2014 07:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2014 07:30 AM   |  A+A-

TN-Man-Killed

TIRUVANNAMALAI: A 40-year-old man from the district was gunned down by the Special Task Force (STF) personnel in Seshachalam Reserve Forest of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, taking the total number of persons killed in similar incidents in the last month to four.

S Veeramani (40), a resident of Vinayagapuram near Kannamangalam and a father of two, was killed when the security personnel encountered a gang of over 50 men with axes and sickles in the Pallapalli Range around 8 am on Saturday. “Veeramani’s brother Mahadevan, a mason, took him to work to a nearby village last week. After working for two days, he disappeared. Though his family members tried to contact him, his phone was found to be switched off,” said a Vinayagapuram resident.

Sources claimed that the STF personnel opened fire after the red sander smugglers pelted stones and threw sickles and axes at them. The team also combed the forest to arrest the absconding gangsters.

The STF was constituted to fight red sander smugglers following the brutal killing of two forest department personnel in 2012. Tasked with the mandate to flush out red sander mafias and protect the Seshachalam RF, the force was well equipped with arms and ammunition.

While hundreds of woodcutters engaged by kingpins of the multi-crore international illegal business ended up in jail in Tirupati, a few lost their lives, said a forest official in Tiruvannamalai.

Within a span of about a month, four persons hailing from Tiruvannamalai district were gunned down by the STF personnel in two separate encounters deep inside the Seshachalam RF.

The STF personnel had gunned down Venkatesan (27), Vijayakanth (25) and Siva (28), all residents of Athimur Panchayat near Polur, in Seshachalam RF on May 29 this year. Another encounter by the special force was on December 2012, which left one dead and another injured.

Despite being aware of the dangers involved, hundreds of youth from Jawadhu Hills are discreetly entering the red sander-rich Seshachalam area to earn a quick buck.

“The tribal youth’s ability to trek hard terrain, cut down huge trees with ease and climb down hills with logs weighing more than 50 to 60 kg make them priceless assets for the red sander mafias,” said a forest officer.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp