TIRUPATI: Sleuths of Red Sander Anti Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) fired one round in the air to disperse a group of woodcutters trying to smuggle red sanders near Mulapalli Tank area in Seschalam forest in Chittoor district. The woodcutters had initially tried to attack the cops by pelting stones.
One woodcutter was caught and six red sander logs were seized.
According to RSASTF officials, a team of RSASTF sleuths along with Reserve Inspector Murali, Reserve Sub Inspector Vijaya Narasimhulu and Forest Beat Officer Jani Basha were conducting combing operations near Mulapalli Tank in Seshchalam forest since Thursday night.
In the early hours of Friday, the team found some movement in the bushes near the tank and when they went to investigate, a group of red sander woodcutters, who were hiding there, attacked the RSASTF team by pelting stones.
To ward them off, RSI Vijaya Narasimhulu fired a warning shot in the air and the woodcutters fled the spot dropping the red sander logs they had felled. After chasing them, Vijaya Narasimhulu and others managed to catch one woodcutter and seized six red sander logs from the spot.
A search is on for the other woodcutters who fled.
Meanwhile, the apprehended woodcutter was brought to the forest office in Tirupati. He was identified as Subrahmanyam (36), a native of Nachamallai village, Jamuna Marathur Taluka, Tiruvannamalai district in Tamil Nadu.