The incident took place on March 27, when forest officials caught some Lambada tribals while they were camping in the tiger reserve during night time to collect ‘ippa puvvu’.
Hyderabad: Days after the alleged clash between forest officials and members of the Lambada tribal community in Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Achampet, the forest department stated it was their staff who were injured when their base camp was attacked.
The incident took place on March 27, when forest officials caught some Lambada tribals while they were camping in the tiger reserve during night time to collect ‘ippa puvvu’. While patrolling, forest officials identified a group of 19 of night camping and took them to a nearby base camp.
However, three of them escaped from the place after seeing forest officials. “We only gave counselling and said that it was against the rules to do night camping in the forest and did not beat any one of them,” said a senior official.
Alleging that three of their community members were beaten up by the officials in patrolling, a group of 40 to 50 tribals rushed to the base camp and attacked the forest staff.
“We have not harmed any one of them and they only escaped during patrolling. They might have been injured in the forest in the nighttime as there are several rocks. These people approached the tribal heads, who in turn came to the camp and attacked us,” officials said.
Officials said that six staff members were attacked and three of them were Chenchus. “We always encourage tribal people and around 150 were provided employment in the reserve forest,” officials said.
According to the forest department, for the last three months, forest fires were taking place regularly and recently, 20 hectares of forest area was burnt.
“We already told them that they can collect the flower in the daytime, however, most of the time, they go to the forest at night and light fires which are illegal,” said the forest department senior official.