Tirupati: About 15 red sander wood cutters from Tamil Nadu today pelted stones at a 12 member task force on combing operation at Karakambadi forest in Seshachalam hill ranges, 20 km from here, but none were injured, police said.
After noticing the task force personnel they started pelting stones on the policemen who fired in the air, a senior police official said.
The woodcutters then ran back into the forest, leaving behind their belongings, including axes, some grocery items and some bus tickets which were found to be from Salem, the official, who did not wish to be quoted, said.
The task force handed over the woodcutters’ belongings to police and returned to the forest in search of the 15 persons.
In April last year, 20 red sander woodcutters were killed in an alleged encounter by the Red Sanders Anti Smuggling Task Force in the Seshachalam forests here.
In December 2013, two senior officials were killed in the same forest area, a few kilometres away from the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara, by woodcutters.