A joint operation was carried out by the Red Sanders Anti-smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) and forest department leading to the arrest of as many as 179 smugglers, 307 logs were seized from various places in the forest.
Kadapa: As many as 179 smugglers, 307 logs were seized in the major operation, jointly carried out by the Red Sanders Anti-smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) and forest department in Vanipenta forest range of GV Satram adjoining Lankamala forest in Kadapa district.
The task force along with forest staff launched an intensive combing operation in Vanipenta forest range under Proddatur forest division leading to the arrest of as many as 179 smugglers from various places in the forest and forest fringe areas and according to the information, there are 15 smugglers from Tamil Nadu.
Surprisingly the red sander logs which were kept in various places readily for transport and also a dump in Rollabodu forest area of Sidhout forest range, leading to a huge catch of 307 red sanders logs in total in the day-long operation.
Gurappa, Forest Section Officer, who first arrested a batch of 50 Tamil smugglers with the help of task force personnel. After that both forest department and task force personnel, able to nab more and more smugglers and also recover red sanders logs from various places in the forests.
After sometime Task force, RSI Ali Basha stationed in Kadapa also joined the operation with another batch of forest staff directed by FRO Ramana Reddy, which ultimately resulted in nabbing 125 smugglers more.
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M Kantha Rao, Task Force chief IGP along with DCF (Task Force) from Tirupati reached Kadapa and later the forest area from where the red sander logs were recovered was inspected at Kahazipeta forest office.
Kantha Rao praised the task force and forest staff for their great attention and swift operation resulting in the arrest of a large number of smugglers from Tamil Nadu. He said the determination, intelligent and tactics of the personnel prevented the attempt of smugglers.
The enquiries reveal that the arrested local smuggler Ramakrishna from GV Satram was an old criminal and was responsible for facilitating the Tamil smuggler entering the forest for felling the trees which were carried in Rollapadu deep forests and also provides the transportation for illegal smuggling of logs but it was failed.
The details of the 179 arrested smugglers include Salem 104, Villupuram 62, Krishnagiri 7, Tiruvannamalai 2 (Tamil Nadu), Kolar (Karnataka) 1 and the remaining locals.