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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January 11,2022

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Mangaluru, Jan 11: Nearly two dozen people were hospitalized after a hazardous gas leakage from a factory at the Baikampady Industrial Area on the outskirts of the city today. 

The incident took place at Everest Seafoods company. It is learnt that ammonia, a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell, which dissolves in water to give a strongly alkaline solution, was liked from the company’s plant accidentally.
 
There were around 80 workers employed at the plant. Among them nearly two dozen people reported ill after the leakage. Hence they were taken to hospital.

Authorities concerned and police visited the spot and are investigating the matter.

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News Network
January 11,2022

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Chikkamagaluru, Jan 11: The saffron shawl versus hijab row ended at the Balagadi First Grade College in Koppa taluk of Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka as students and parents called a truce and agreed not to wear either a hijab or a saffron shawl along with the uniform to the college from Tuesday.

However, the girls will be allowed to wear veils along with uniform. The decision was made at the parents meeting held in the college.

Principal S Ananth addressing the meeting stated that a similar controversy erupted in 2018. Then, a decision was taken to only cover the face with a veil. This time also consent has been taken from all the parents and a decision on veils has been taken.

The college authorities will take strict measures to see that students do not violate discipline on the campus. He also warned that if any student violates the decision taken in the meeting, their parents would be called and they would be issued a transfer certificate.

MLA Raje Gowda, who also attended the meeting, said the students must maintain discipline on the campus. The behaviour should not be provoking and students must focus on studies and follow the decision taken at the meeting.

The row erupted recently when a group of students started attending classes in hijabs. In retaliation to this, another group of students started wearing saffron scarves and shawls to the college.

The students last week staged a protest by boycotting classes for allowing some of the students to wear a hijab. The students said that uniform norms were violated by some students who wear a hijab along with the uniform. If they are allowed to wear hijabs, then they must also be allowed to come with saffron scarves and shawls, the agitating students demanded. 

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News Network
January 13,2022

Benagluru, Jan 13: The Karnataka Congress on Thursday suspended its Mekedatu foot march amid surging Covid-19 cases in the country.

“We are temporarily stalling our foot march. Once the third wave subsides, we will resume our March from Ramanagara,” says Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah.

The party was holding a 10-day padayatra or 'Walk for Water' demanding a balancing reservoir across Cauvery river at Mekedatu in Ramanagara district.

Several party leaders, including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, tested positive for Covid-19. 

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