RFO files complaint against MP, MLAs

RFO files complaint against MP, MLAs

MP B Y Raghavendra

Ripponpet Range Forest Officer (RFO) G Hanumantaiah lodged a complaint against 30 persons, including MP B Y Raghavendra, MLAs H Halappa, Aaraga Jnanendra, former MLA B Swamy Rao, at the Ripponpet police station on Friday, accusing them of preventing him from discharging his duty in connection with the forest encroachment clearance drive.

It may be mentioned here that more than 200 villagers had staged a protest at Masaruru village in Hosanagara taluk on November 15, opposing the forest department’s drive to clear the encroachment on the reserve forest area.

The tahsildar had directed the officials concerned to carry out the drive after a joint survey. However, the drive was suspended, and the villagers called-off the agitation.

The RFO, in his complaint, has stated that a group of elected representatives, led by Sagara MLA H Halappa, arrived at the Forest department office at Arasalu with a farmer’s body in a tiller, abused him and even threatened to kill him, the same day in the evening.

“I appeal to the police to provide suitable protection,” the officer has stated in the complaint.

Meanwhile, the Forest department staff have stated that the farmer - Lakshmanappa - had died of cardiac arrest at his home in Masaruru village. He had not participated in the agitation since his name was not included in the encroachers list.

The RFO has been transferred to Muththodi range, Chikkamagaluru division. Several organisations have demanded the government to withdraw the transfer order.