| June 30, 2019
30th July 2019: A lady Forest Range Officer (FRO), Anitha Chole from the Kaghaznagar Division of the Telangana Forest Department was assaulted by Konaru Krishna (Vice Chairman Zilla Parishad) and villagers from Sarsala village while carrying out her official duties. The FRO was carrying out afforestation activities under the Kaleshwaram Project in 20 ha of degraded forest land. It is believed that the assault was politically motivated as there were attempts to illegally encroach this land 6-7 years back. The FRO is being treated for her injuries in Kaghaznagar.
The Wildlife Conservation Society - India condemns the assault on the lady officer in the line of duty and urges the authorities to bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice. The WCS - India Country Director, Ms Prakriti Srivastava, IFS and the entire staff of WCS - India commend Ms. Anitha Chole for her bravery in the face of such violence and wish her a speedy recovery.
The team lead of WCS-India working in Telangana Imran Siddiqui and member of State Board of Wildlife condemned the attack and said, “We urge the State Government to take immediate cognizance of the issue and in order to boost the morale of the staff take action, irrespective of the political affiliations of the accused and all those involved in encroachment and assault.”