20 Forest personnel injured in attack by timber smugglers

At least 20 forest personnel were injured when timber smugglers attacked them in Ganjam district today.

The timber smugglers also damaged two vehicles of the Forest department during the incident that took place in Badagada dense forest, Forest officials said.

The incident took place during a raid by a team of around 30 Forest personnel in the jungle to crack down smuggling of timber in the area, said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ghumusar South, B K Acharya.

The team members, belonging to Badagada and Mohana forest range, were attacked with axe and bamboo sticks by the smugglers, police said.

DFO (Berhampur) Asish Kumar Behera also rushed to the area to take stock of the situation and to inquire about the condition of the forest personnel.

After getting information about the incident, police personnel from Badagada rushed to the spot to rescue the forest staff.

"We rescued the forest personnel from the forest area," said Inspector-in-Charge (IIC) of Badagada police station, Jibananand Das.

The personnel of district volunteer force (DVF), the special force deployed in Badagada due to Maoist presence in the area, also accompanied the police, he said.

Some of the attackers have been identified. Patrolling will be intensified in the area to nab the attackers, he said.

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