BJP MP asks tribals to beat up forest officials carrying out plantation drive

Hyderabad: Accusing the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao of trying to suppress Adivasis through his ‘Haritha Haram’ plantation project, BJP MP Soyam Bapu Rao asked the tribals to beat up and drive away forest personnel carrying out the drive. 

“Obstruct plantation works by forest officials in podu lands and uproot the saplings planted by them. If required beat them up I will take care of you. Need not worry about forest staff,” he was quoted as saying by a PTI report.

This comes a days after a woman forest official was attacked by villagers. The MP asked the tribals to uproot the saplings planted in podu lands under the CM’s project. He was taking part in a event held to mark the death anniversary of Siddam Shambu, a tribal leader and founder of Hakkula Porata Samithi.

The BJP leader also said he has made a representation to the Union Tribal Minister and National Tribal Commission over protection of Adivasis rights and asked the tribals to fight against the CM’s plans.

The Chief Minister’s project has witnessed several opposition. On 30 June, a woman forest official was attacked by a group of people led by the brother of ruling TRS MLA in Asifabad district when the forest personnel had gone there for the plantation drive.

In view of this, the CM last last week said he would visit various districts to resolve the issue of Podu lands. Podu cultivation is a form of shifting cultivation. It has resulted in a tiff between forest officials trying to enforce law in forest areas and people involved in farming on those lands.

NT Bureau