Hyderabad: Officials of the forest department said on Friday that people with malicious intent to encroach upon forest land were doing so by using tribal women.
Recently, protests were seen at the forest base camp in support of 12 arrested women. Mulugu MLA Seethakka visited the women jailed in Adilabad, and demanded that they be released and cases against them be withdrawn.
The forest department said that area around the Kawal Tiger Reserve is densely forested, and had no previous occupants and no ‘podu’ (shifting) cultivation.
“Recently some villagers from Koyapochaguda started cutting down trees and clearing forest land on about 25 acres in Lingapur Beat. Despite multiple warnings, they illegally entered and flattened trees,” said Qawwal Tiger Reserve Field Director CP Vinod Kumar.
“As per the rules, the forest officials filed cases against them, arrested them and later released them on bail,” he said.
The field director said that people with the malicious intent to claim forest land are creating a problem by putting local women forward. “There would be legal action against those who violate forest laws and invade the area,” he added.
“Some are using this incident for political gain and find fault with the government,” he added.