Two shot dead, 14 forest officials injured in clash with teak wood smugglers
BHOPAL: Two villagers, including a tribal woman, were
shot dead by Special Armed Force (SAF) in a firing spree to rescue a forest
ranger from teak wood smugglers who allegedly tried to set him ablaze in
Chhaindwara district of Madhya Pradesh on Monday evening.
Fourteen forest officials including a divisional
forest officer (DFO) were injured in the attack by a group of villagers and
teak smugglers during a raid for seizure of illegally felled teak woods in
Gulsi village, 50-km away from the district headquarters.
The incident took place at around 3.30 pm but came to
light after forest guards reached district hospital for treatment. Three of
them are said to be in critical condition. Those killed in the firing were
identified as Sangeeta and Shyamrao, said sources.
Chief conservator of forest (CCF) Chitranjan Tyagi
said that a team of forest officials led by DFO had gone to Tulsi village to
seize illegally felled teak woods.
“In the search operation local villagers started
pelting with stones on the team. They caught a ranger and tried to set him ablaze
after dousing kerosene. The officers asked the SAF jawans to fire in air to
control the situation and save the officer. Our investigations are on,” Tyagi said.
District collector and superintendent of police also
went to the forest area after receiving the information with additional force. “We
have asked to conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident,” he said.