KHAMMAM: Forest officials tried to remove plants raised by the tribals in the controversial podu lands on Wednesday.
Tribal leader Jaloth Krishna alleged that forest officials registered non-bailable cases against 24 tribals and asked them to report to the police station on Wednesday. When the tribals were in the police station, forest officials with police personnel and some migrated labour, reached the lands and started removing the crops for replanting trees under Haritha Haram scheme.
Ten days ago the tribals planted cotton, red gram and green gram seeds in the controversial lands.
After the tribals got to know about the situation, over 300 of them reached the spot and staged a dharna. They also prevented the officials from removing the plantation.
Dispute between forest officials and tribals has been going on for a few years. More than 200 tribals have been cultivating crops in 125 acres of podu lands for the last 30 years in Bovogitanda, Regalla, Palakoyyatanda and Manchikantinagar in Kothagudem mandal.
But the forest officials claim own the land.
Jaloth Krishna said that during the YS Rajasekhara Reddy rule, pattas were given only to six persons. He demanded that the government give pattas to all of them as most of them are poor and landless.