The indiscriminate smuggling of red sanders is continuing in the Seshachalam forests and the smugglers are leaving no stone unturned to loot the forest wealth and even resorting to murdering anyone who come in their way.
One such incident occurred near Ithepalle of Chandragiri mandal in the early hours of Tuesday, when a lorry driver smuggling the red sanders logs attempted to hit a vehicle of the forest staff, when they parked their Sumo vehicle in the middle of the road to stop the lorry.
Divisional forest officer G N Pawan Kumar Rao said that acting on a credible information that large quantity of red sanders logs were being transported in a lorry, he alerted the forest staff patrolling on the Nendragunta-Ithepalle road.
When the forest staff spotted a Tamil Nadu registered lorry (TN 68-3382) between Ithepalle and Chandragiri, they tried to stop it. However, the lorry driver, paying no heed to the instructions of the forest staff, sped away. The forest staff chased the lorry in their vehicle and overtook it near Ithepalle and parked their vehicle in the middle of the road. But, with the lorry driver driving at a very speed tried to collide the Sumo, the alert Sumo driver Rajendra removed the vehicle to avoid collision.
Once again the forest staff tried to stop the lorry after chasing it for another 100 meters. Giving up their efforts, both the lorry driver and cleaner jumped off from the moving vehicle and fled away from the scene.
Later, the forest staff seized 3.5 tonnes of red sanders logs worth Rs one crore from the lorry. Flying squad officials including GS Chandrahasan, R Narayana, Nagaraju, Rajendra, Vasu, Hari took part in the operation.