TRS workers led by the brother of a party MLA today mercilessly thrashed a woman forest officer when a team of 50 forest and police personnel went to a village to begin afforestation work as a part of Kaleshwaram project, considered to be the dream of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

According to a statement issued by forest department its official was attacked by the mob led by Koneru Krishna, vice chairman of Zilla Parishad of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district and brother of TRS MLA of Sirpur, Koneru Konappa because they had “mala fide intentions” to occupy the reserve forest land. Chole Anitha the official who in desperation had taken shelter on a tractor was mercilessly thrashed with sticks before police and other forest personnel intervened and tried to push away her attackers. After the video got circulated the main accused Koneru Krishna, brother of TRS MLA was arrested and he resigned from the post of vice chairman Zilla Parishad citing high-handedness of forest official on villagers who were clearing the land for “podu” or shifting cultivation. The DGP later suspended DSP and inspector of Kagaznagar for inaction. Apart from Krishna 15 others were booked in the case.

TRS working president, KT Rama Rao issued a statement saying: “I strongly condemn the atrocious behaviour of Koneru Krishna who attacked a forest officer who was doing her job. He has been arrested and a case was already booked. No one is above law of the land.” However, Opposition was quick to allege that the incident was pointer to worsening law and order situation in Telangana. BJP leader, P Muralidhar Rao condemned the incident, describing it as “ blatant interference and man handling of the forest officers and police team involved in afforestation drive by TRS workers. He said: “There is no law and order with governance reduced to goondaraj under TRS in Telangana.” Congress too condemned the incident and demanded Mr Krishna should be s suspended from the party. However, the MLA Koneru Konappa defended his brother saying he had gone to the spot to pacify the villagers.

In July, every year in a bid to increase green cover in the state the TRS government takes up Haritha Haram scheme for planting saplings. The forest official was in the village to prepare 20 acres of the denuded forest land for planting of saplings under compensatory afforestation after some of the forest land were cleared for Kaleshwaram project.

That tension had gripped the village since it was announced is clear from the fact that a large team of police and forest officials had reached the spot anticipating trouble.