Tirupati Urban Police constituted a special team and seized 395 red sanders logs weighing about 9.5 tonnes from an automotive corridor godown located in Pondur village of Sriperambadur taluk in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu.
Addressing the media Tirupati on Thursday, Rayalaseema Range I-G N. Sridhar Rao and Urban SP R. Jayalakshmi said: “The raid was conducted based on the information provided by smuggler Kirubakaran alias Kiruba that he, along with another smuggler Selvaraj and associates, dumped a few tons of the logs in the godown.”
The Chandragiri police nabbed smuggler Rajamohan of Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu on August 19. He was wanted in more than 40 cases in Chittoor and Tirupati Urban Police districts. His associates, Jagannadham and Balan, were also arrested. The police also seized eight red sanders logs, a four-wheeler, and Rs.1,08,050 in cash from the accused. However, Kiruba and other operatives fled the scene. Kiruba was finally taken into custody on August 30. Based on the information he provided during interrogation, the police swung into action. They also seized a truck, weighing machines, and chainsaws at the godown.
Stating that the government was committed to protecting the endemic red sanders species and eradicating the smuggling activities prevalent in the region, Mr. Sridhar Rao said: “Till date, we have registered 1,193 cases, arrested 6,924 operatives, seized 1,016 vehicles, and 22,108 logs. The crackdown on smuggling operations, including formation of a special task force, has shown that the government is adopting a zero tolerance policy.”
Ms. Jayalakshmi stressed the need for concentrated effort to check the menace by bringing pressure on the smugglers to dissuade the operatives from entering the forests.
She said that “IT tools helped the department unravel the nexus between the operatives and the main smugglers.”
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BY M. DIVYA SRI