170 TN Smugglers Nabbed for AP Foresters' Murder - The New Indian Express

170 TN Smugglers Nabbed for AP Foresters' Murder

Published: 17th December 2013 07:56 AM

Last Updated: 17th December 2013 07:56 AM

A day after over 200 red sanders smugglers brutally hacked two forest officials to death in the Seshachalam forests, the police, who had launched an unprecedented manhunt, apprehended more than 170 of them while they were trying to escape in trains and private vehicles in Kadapa and Chittoor districts.

All the 170 are said to be from Tamil Nadu.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Tirupati Urban SP SV Rajasekhara Babu confirmed the arrest of 100 smugglers.

However, it is learnt that more than 170 have been rounded up.

“The arrested include Govindaraju, Chavadan Kala Kalahastri and Ramaswamy alias Madhi who are from Vellore district in Tamil Nadu. They played a crucial role in the murders,” the SP said. Stating that there was a conspiracy behind the brutal killings, he said, “We will seek police custody of all the smugglers.”

Sources said some smugglers were nabbed early Monday while they were coming out of the forest.

Some others were caught at the Kodur railway station, Anjineyapuram checkpost, Tirupati bus station, Mangalam and other areas.

The Kadapa police alone caught 120 smugglers from the Kodur railway station.

Despite the arrests, the forest officials have refused to venture into the forests without weapons prompting the police to extend a helping hand. “The police which is playing a supporting role will henceforth take the lead,” said Rajasekhara Babu.

From now on, 20 armed personnel will be attached to the Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) in Tirupati.

The forest officials can utilise their services on their own without the consent of the SP. In case there is requirement of additional forces, they will also be sent on information, the SP said.

Chief Conservator of Forests M Ravi Kumar, who was also present, said 20 armed personnel will be enough for tackling the menace until the forest staff get 250 double barrel guns and 150 revolvers.

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