Kumram Bheem Asifabad: The bodies of two Forest Beat Officers (FBOs), who drowned in the Pranahita river on Sunday, were fished out at Gudem village in Chintalamanepalli mandal on Monday. They met with the watery grave when a wooden boat capsized in the river on the Telangana-Maharashtra borders.
Koutala Inspector B Srinivas said the bodies were of Balakrishna Munjam (33), a resident of Chintaguda in Kaghaznagar mandal, and Badavath Suresh (35), a native of Temlaguda in Kerameri mandal. They worked under Karjelli forest range of Kaghaznagar Forest Division. Another FBO, Saddam, who was also on the boat, managed to survive.
The bodies were jointly found by expert divers, cops, and NDRF personnel in the deepest spot in the river at around 8 am and were fished out by 10 am. They were struck to fishnet set for catching fish in the river. Six teams were formed for searching the body on Sunday. Post-mortem of the bodies was held at Sirpur (T) government hospital.
Jobs to dependents soon
District Forest Officer L Ranjit Nayak told ‘Telangana Today’ that arrangements were made to shift the bodies to the native places of the officials, following the autopsy. Steps were being taken to employ their dependents under compassionate grounds at the earliest. It was unfortunate to lose the dedicated FBOs, who were recruited recently, he added.
Balakrishna is survived by a wife and a son, and so did Suresh. A pall of gloom descended over Chintaguda and Temlaguda following the tragic incident. The FBOs were drowned after returning from Maharashtra’s Aheri where they went to catch teak smugglers following a tip-off.
Travelling on unsafe boat
The foresters, along with a milkman, boatman and his assistant, were travelling on a small and unsafe boat meant for fishing when the mishap occurred. Balakrishna and Suresh, who were not familiar with swimming, went missing when the boat capsized following strong current.
Saddam and three others swam ashore and alerted authorities and cops who, in turn, reached the spot and launched a search operation.
Forest Minister condoles
Minister for Environment and Forests Alolla Indrakaran Reddy expressed grief over the death of the FBOs on Sunday. The Minister in a statement on Monday expressed assured the bereaved families of all support from the government.