Indore/Mhow (Madhya Pradesh): A forest team was attacked and held hostage by a group when the team had gone to remove encroachment on forest land in the Mhow range. Thankfully, a police team reached there on time and rescued the forest team. However, one of the forest officials had received injuries and had to be rushed to a hospital.
Mhow ranger Sachin Verma said a forest team was returning from Choral Dam area when they received information that in Jamniya some people had tied cattle on forest land and were cutting down trees and ploughing the land.
“When we reached the place we saw hundreds of cattle tied on the land and some people were cutting trees and some are ploughing the land,” said Verma.
On seeing the forest team the encroachers stopped what they were doing, but stood their ground. The forest team called backup and detained one of the encroachers who was caught cutting a tree.
As soon as the man was detained by the forest officials, the people got aggressive and started opposing the action, and demanded that the detained person should be released. Matters escalated when the encroachers started pelting stones at the forest team and one of them attacked one of the forest officials with an axe and injured him.
Officials said the encroachers attacked beat guard Prahlad Rathore and hit him on his head with an axe, and he started bleeding. The forest driver who was making a video of the incident was also attacked and they forced him to delete the video.
The encroachers were so aggressive that they held the forest team hostage, not allowing anyone to leave, even the injured forest guard who needed urgent medical attention. Fortunately, one of the forest officials in the team had contacted Badgonda police, and they came and rescued the trapped forest officials and they also took the injured to hospital.
Senior officials said a thorough investigation will take place, and the perpetrators would be identified and strict action would be taken against them.