ADILABAD: The tussle between tribals and forest officials continued on the second consecutive day at Koipochigudem in Dhandapelli mandal of Mancherial district leading to the arrest of five tribal women on Friday. Three officials were injured in clashes that ensued as tribals resisted demolition of their huts erected on forest land. The tribals also threw chilly powder into the eyes of the officials.
The five women who were arrested from the spot were produced before Dhandapelli tehsildar office. A case was filed against them and they were released later. Protesting against the women’s arrest, the Adivasis blocked the road in front of forest range office. They said that the State government gave them several assurances about issuing pattas for the lands they had been cultivating for decades.
“But now they are telling us we can’t even cultivate here. They are demolishing our huts,” said one of the protesters. Meanwhile, Adivasi organisation leaders have called for a strike in the erstwhile Adilabad district on July 11 against the alleged excesses from the officials of forest and police departments. The tribals alleged that the officials manhandled the women who resisted demolition of the huts. CPM leaders also came out in support of the tribals and demanded action against the officials who misbehaved and manhandled tribal women.Jannaram forest divisional officer S Madhav Rao said that the land where the huts had been built did not come under the ambit of Forest Rights Act. He added that many discussions were held with the tribals, but they did not cooperate.
Revanth shares video
Sharing a video clip of Forest Department officials exerting force against a tribal woman on Twitter, TPCC chief A Revanth Reddy on Friday said that the podu lands have been resembling battlegrounds in several districts across the State. The video clip shows shocking visuals of around 10 khaki-clad women Forest Department officials dragging a woman.