'Even Animals Aren’t Thrashed This Way': Telangana Official Beaten by TRS MLA's Brother Seeks Security
The National Commission for Women has expressed concern over the incident and sought a report from the the state police chief.
C Anitha, the forest office who was allegedly assaulted by Telangana Rashtra Samithi's members on Sunday, being treated at a hospital in Asifabad district, Monday, July 1, 2019. (PTI)
Hyderabad: The woman forest official was was thrashed by a mob allegedly led by the brother of a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA has demanded security, saying that even animals are not beaten up so mercilessly.
"Even animals are not thrashed this way," said C Anitha, who was attacked on Sunday by a group allegedly led by Koneru Krishna Rao, the younger brother of Sirpur TRS MLA Koneru Konappa, over a land issue. She alleged that the TRS MLA and his brother have a history of threatening officers in the area. Krishna Rao was elected as Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) member of Kaghaznagar mandal and was recently chosen as its vice-chairperson.
The 34-year-old woman Forest Range Officer (FRO), who is being treated at a private super specialty hospital here, said that the mob did not spare her and other forest personnel even after they pleaded for mercy.
"She is doing fine. There are some hairline fractures on her left arm," said District Forest Officer L Ranjith Naik.
Anitha sought reassurance from the government about her security and demanded strong action that would act as a deterrent for such incidents.
"Krishna came (to the site) and pushed back police and started hitting (us). They targeted me first and after hitting me, the villagers started thrashing our officials. I was injured and our people took me back," she said. "Without even bothering that there are women, they hit us although we pleaded not to be hit. Even animals are not thrashed like this."
The National Commission for Women has also expressed concern over the incident and sought a report from the the state police chief.
Along with her staff and police, Anitha had gone to Sarasala village for a plantation drive on land under a compensatory afforestation scheme for the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project, a senior forest department official had said. Video footage of the attack showed Anitha climbing a tractor to escape and Krishna and other villagers attacking the vehicle. She was seen pleading with them not to attack her. An identified person hit the lady official.
"They will try to do something (harm) even after going form here(hospital)...strong action is needed to deter such things. There are many such incidents, political leaders have lot of support and they (attackers) come out in the day (from prisons)...Who will take responsibility if something happens to me? I definitely want security," she said on Monday.
"It should be seen that he (Krishna) does not interfere in this manner again. I have come to the government to serve people. I took up this job with the love for the uniform. I never expected to be hit like this when in uniform," she added.
Anitha's husband, Manik Rao, told PTI that he was trying to meet Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and apprise him of the attack. Hours after the incident came to light, TRS Working president KT Rama Rao had condemned the attack and said no one is above the law.
Condemning the incident, forest department personnel on Monday took out a rally at Sirpur-Kagaznagar.
The Telangana chapter of the Indian Forest Service Association in a statement said the "atrocious and uncivilised attack on the unarmed forest staff" is highly deplorable and demanded that the government take immediate stringent action against all those responsible for the incident.
The Opposition Congress also attacked the TRS government. Former Congress MP V Hanumatha Rao, who visited Anitha in hospital, demanded tough action against the perpetrators.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader M Bhatti Vikramarka appointed a "fact-finding committee" of four party MLAs to look into the incident.
Superintendent of Police Malla Reddy said Krishna Rao and 13 others were arrested on Sunday and remanded on Monday. The police are verifying the footage of the incident to identify others who were part of the attack.
The police department in an official release had said that Kagaznagar Deputy Superintendent of Police Sambaih and Inspector Venkatesh were suspended for their "negligence in conducting duty".
Meanwhile, a video doing the rounds on social media on Monday showed Konappa purportedly telling villagers he would convene a press meet and tell journalists that the police and forest department personnel had beaten them up 15 days ago and also on Sunday when they were "merely trying to stop the tractors' from ploughing their land.
Asked about the video, SP Malla Reddy said the police are looking into it.
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