Employees of the Forest Department took out a rally in Khammam on Thursday renewing their demand for exemplary punishment to killers of the Chandrugonda Forest Range Officer Challamalla Srinivas Rao and provision of arms to the frontline forest staff engaged in protection of forests for self-defence.
The rally which began at the District Forest Office wound its way through the main streets of the town before culminating at the Gandhi Chowk, the prime business centre in Khammam.
Forest department personnel from various parts of the district participated in the rally.
They shouted slogans demanding setting up of a fast-track court to ensure expeditious trial of the accused and harshest punishment to the guilty.
They displayed banners that read, “Punish the killers of the FRO sternly, provide protection to the forest staff and officials, and equip the forest offices with weapons.”
Later, a delegation of the forest employees submitted a memorandum containing a charter of demands to the authorities concerned.
Sources said that several employees of the forest department reportedly abstained from the ongoing survey of podu lands, which entered the final phase in most parts of the erstwhile Khammam district.
The move comes after some forest department employees’ outburst against ‘lack of security’ to the frontline staff of the department in the volatile areas mainly in the border mandals of Bhadradri Kothagudem district.
Meanwhile, the Chandrugonda police are understood to have deepened the probe into Tuesday’s brutal murder of the Chandrugonda FRO allegedly by two migrant tribals over ‘podu land’ issue at Errabodu from all dimensions including the “naxal angle.”
The police on Wednesday arrested two accused in connection with the case at Errabodu, a tiny hamlet inhabited by Gutti Koya migrant tribals, in Chandrugonda mandal.