BHUPALPALLY : Amid resistance from tribals, forest officials forcibly evacuated Jalagalancha Guthikoya tribe people from forest land in Govindraopet in Bhupalapally district on Saturday.According to District Forest Officer Ravi Kiran, forest officials have been counselling the tribals for quite some time to vacate the place to a location in Tadwai area where the government built huts for them. But despite repeated appeals tribals refused to vacate the land. “We had no other choice but to use force. We have done no excess. They would be rehabilitated soon,” he said.
The DFO alleged that the tribe had cleared 150 acres of forest land damaging green cover. “These people are habitual hunters and kill wild animals.We warned them several times but they continued their activities, forcing us to take tough measures,” he said. He claimed that the tribe is being shifted as part of rehabilitation programme.
He refuted the allegation that women were tied to trees before their huts were destroyed.“We knew the tribals would spread false rumours, we videographed the entire operation. We even took media along with us so that they could know the facts,” he said.Sources said tribals from Maharashtra and MP have been practising Podu cultivation on forest land. But the staff alleged that the practice is degrading forest cover.