Gutti Koya eviction: Tribal JAC to file PIL in Telangana HC

The Telangana forest department on November 28 served eviction notices to the Gutti Koyas following the killing of a Forest Range Officer.

Hyderabad: The Tribal Joint Action Committee (JAC) has planned to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the High Court challenging the eviction notices issued by the Telangana Forest department to Gutti Koya tribals of Yerrabodu habitation in Chandrugonda Mandal in Kothagudem.

A delegation of the JAC headed by convener Vasam Ramakrishna Dora visited the habitation and interacted with the residents. The tribals were assured that the JAC would stand by them. The committee felt that the eviction notice to Gutti Koya community was harsh.

The Telangana forest department on November 28 served eviction notices to the Gutti Koyas following the killing of a Forest Range Officer.

Chandrugonda Forest Range Officer (FRO) Chalamala Srinivasa Rao succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Khammam after battling for life for a few hours.

The cultivators belonging to the Gutti Koya tribe attacked him with sharp-edged weapons near Yerrabodu in Bendalapadu forest area.

Podu lands are the forest land under cultivation by tribals and non-tribal forest dwellers. There has been a rift between the cultivators and the forest department. In recent years, plantations undertaken by the forest department on such lands led to skirmishes between the two sides at various places in the state.

The cultivators attacked the forest officer when he questioned them for removing saplings planted by the Forest Department. There was a heated argument between the two sides. As the tension mounted, the cultivators attacked Srinivas Rao with sickles, knives, and other sharp-edged weapons.

The officer fell to the ground but the assailants continued attacking him. Bendalapadu section officer Rama Rao escaped, saving his own life.

FRO Srinivasa Rao (42) was hacked to death by Gutti Koya tribals when he resisted their attempts to remove the saplings planted by the forest department.

(With Inputs from IANS)

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