VELLORE: Days after 32 people from Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police, the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) of Andhra Pradesh nabbed 12 persons from the State for allegedly felling red sanders trees at two locations in Seshachalam forest in Tirupati on Wednesday.
According to RSASTF sources, a group of people was found moving suspiciously in the reserved forest area near Sri Venkateswara National Park in two autos and a two-wheeler. On seeing the police, they tried to flee, but the RSASTF caught 10 of them, while three in an auto escaped. Among those, nine are from Tiruchy and were identified as L Sendhil Kumar (33), R Shanmugam (23), P Angamuttu (27), K Murthy (42), R Nagarajan (26), N Perumal (30), N Sathyavel (22), S Ravi (35) and S Ramu (32). K Siva (23) from Renigunta, who lured the Tamil workers, was also arrested.
RS Madhu Babu, Circle Inspector of the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force, Tirupati, told Express that the local smugglers had offered `300 to the Tamil workers, to cut down one kg of red sanders. “We have named three local smugglers in the FIR — Rama Naidu, Sreenivasa Reddy and Munusamy, who escaped,” he said.
In another instance, three persons were arrested at Karakambadi Forest in Seshachalam Hills as they were trying to cut down trees. RSASTF personnel, who were on patrol, arrested them. They seized 58 wooden logs, weighing two tons, worth `1 crore. The two arrested, G Ponnusamy (39) and G Thirumalai are natives of Tiruvannamalai district, while C Kumar (27) is from Dharmapuri.