Kerala forest personnel abuse TN tribal women, apologise

The official tendered the apology after a meeting in which Kadayanallur Forest Ranger Suresh, the tribal women and other forest and police personnel took part.

Published: 28th October 2022 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th October 2022 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

TENKASI:  On behalf of the Kerala forest officials who allegedly abused a few tribal women from Vasudevanallur in Tamil Nadu, Thekkady Forest Ranger Akilbabu apologised to the women here on Wednesday.

The official tendered the apology after a meeting in which Kadayanallur Forest Ranger Suresh, the tribal women and other forest and police personnel took part.    

The forest officials in the district said the erring personnel attached to Kerala's Thekkady forest range would attend the next meeting to be held in Vasudevanallur on November 1 or 2. The personnel attached to Thekkady forest range who are assigned duty in some beats have to enter Tamil Nadu to reach their workplace, as there is no proper road in Kerala.

The officials said a few days ago, four tribal women and a man from Thalayanai of Vasudevanallur were returning home after collecting honey when a forester and four-beat forest officers of Thekkady forest range who were heading to their workplace waylaid them. "The forester asked one of the women to lower the basket that she was carrying on her head. And, while checking, the forester grabbed her shoulder and snatched the honey," they said, adding the forest personnel threatened them saying they would beat them up if the tribal people are seen near their forest.

"The incident happened in Tamil Nadu forest limit," said a Tamil Nadu forest official.
The tribal women, later, filed a complaint with the Vasudevanallur police who registered it in the community social register (CSR). After appraising the Kerala forest officials about the incident, a team led by Akilbabu reached Vasudevanallur to conduct a talk.

"Akilbabu apologised to the tribal women on behalf of his personnel. We have recommended the transfer of all five personnel of the Thekkady forest range involved in the incident. In the next talk, all those personnel will participate and hand over a letter of apology to the tribal women. While going to the workplace, the Kerala forest personnel camp for three to five days in the Tamil Nadu forest. We are already asking them to sign in on our register whenever they are entering into our forest," said an official.
District Forest Officer Murugan said their movement in the Tamil Nadu forest limit would be regulated further.

India Matters


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