Police encounter: 20 suspected sandalwood smugglers shot dead

April 7, 2015

Chittoor, Apr 7: Twenty woodcutters believed to be hired by red-sander smugglers were killed in an encounter with the Special Task Force in Seshachalam hill ranges near Tirupati in the wee hours of Tuesday. This is the highest toll in a single encounter in the history of red-sanders smuggling.

While 11 persons were killed in Cheekatikona, nine more died in Eethagunta, both deep in the forest, around 10 k.m. from the nearest human habitation.

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The Special Task Force members, who were engaged in combing operations in Srinivasa Mangapuram, Srivarimettu and Eethagunta areas of Chandragiri Mandal abutting the Tirumala hills since Monday, found more than 100 woodcutters engaged in the task of felling trees.

The policemen asked them to surrender, but the woodcutters hailing from Tiruvannamalai and Salem districts of Tamil Nadu allegedly rained stones and hurled sickles at them, forcing the STF to open fire in self-defence.

At the end of the operation lasting for several hours, 20 persons were found dead. While confirming the number of deaths, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Special Task Force) M. Kantha Rao sought more time to verify the criminal antecedents of the dead.

The bodies were strewn all over the encounter spot.

Smugglers from Tamil Nadu

Additional Director-General of Police (Law and order) R P. Thakur said that on information that large number of red-sander smugglers had sneaked into Seshachalam forests, the special task force personnel reached there and waited in ambush. When the security personnel confronted the smugglers, some of whom were carrying red sanders logs, they attacked them, he said.

He said that most of the smugglers were from Tamil Nadu and they usually come in hundreds when they try to smuggle the precious wood. Several other smugglers had escaped.

Meanwhile, Director-General of Police, J.V. Ramudu met Chief Minister N.Chandrababu Naidu and briefed him on the incident.

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News Network
October 28,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 28: Karnataka Minister for Health and Medical Education Dr K Sudhakar on Wednesday urged for postponing the elections to the Local Bodies to March 2021 due to Covid-19 threat.

Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, he said that the present situation is not suitable to hold elections and if held it may lead to a rise in the cases.

He said already two assembly by-elections and four graduate constituencies’ elections declared, the government will observe how people will react to these elections. In the interest of the people, holding the local body elections was not a suitable time.

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News Network
October 27,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 26: A still photograph of an aged farmer selling flower pots in the hot sun, caught the eye of noted versatile Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda who, on Monday, appealed to people to help the farmer.

By afternoon, Change Makers of Kanakapura Road, an umbrella organisation of resident welfare associations, came out and donated him a canopy umbrella to provide him the shade and also assured him that they would soon be providing a table and a chair to sit.

A twitter handle IMShubham tweeted on Monday morning tagging @ActorMadhvan, @Kanchangupta and @SoonuSood requesting them support to Revana Siddappa, an old man who sells plants at Kanakapura Road near Sarakki Signal in Karnataka.

His tweet mentioned that Siddappa sells these plants at Rs 10 to Rs 30 while holding an umbrella with one hand to protect himself from sunlight.

IMShubham also posted pictures of Siddappa selling plants.

Seeing this tweet, actor Randeep Hooda through his twitter handle, appealed saying that Hey Bangalore.. do show some love.. he sits in front of Wular Fashion factory, JP Nagar, Sarakki Signal, Kanakapura Road, Bangalore.

Responding to this, Change Makers of Kanakapura Road also stressed that they would be raising funds to help generate sustainable income for Siddappa.

The Internet worked its magic and has taken initiative to bring a smile on Siddappa's face. In the times of pandemic and social-distancing, it brings people closer to lend to those who need it the most.

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October 19,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 19: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol has said eight members of his family have contracted coronavirus including his son Dr Gopal Karjol, who is on ventilator for the past 23 days.

In a long Twitter post, Karjol explained his inability to take up a long journey to physically monitor the flood situation in Bagalkote and Kalaburagi.

"My son Dr Gopal Karjol is on ventilator for the past 23 days (due to coronavirus). My wife recently came out of the hospital after recovering from the coronavirus infection. I too recovered from Covid-19 after staying in the hospital for 19 days. In all, eight members of my family had contracted coronavirus," Karjol said in his post.

Karjol is an MLA from Mudhol in Bagalkote and is district in charge minister of Bagalkote and Kalaburagi.

Both districts have been affected by floods.

The situation in Kalaburagi is severe due to the Bhima river. Karjol said he was not venturing out unless there was an urgency.

He also said he has been advised by the doctors not to take up long and tiring journeys due to which he is not going to flood-affected areas.

However, he is in touch with the district administration and is monitoring the flood situation sitting at home.

Karjol had contracted the infection when the Assembly session was in progress in the state from September 21 to September 26.

He is among those ministers, MLAs, and other public representatives who were infected with the virus.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, another Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, Forest Minister Anand Singh, Social Welfare Minister B Sriramulu, BJP National General secretary C T Ravi, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S Suresh Kumar, Agriculture Minister B C Patil, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief D K Shivakumar were among those infected by the virus.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, cumulatively 7,65,586 Covid-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 10,478 deaths and 6,45,825 discharges.

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