Deccan Chronicle



Forest Martyrs Day was observed at Nehru Zoological Park on Friday, with homage being paid to the forest staff who laid down their lives in the line of duty in the state.

Forest minister A. Indrakaran Reddy recalled the sacrifices made by the forest martyrs. Since 1984, 21 officers sacrificed their lives for the protection of forests and wildlife. “Through this pandemic, officers and staff are bravely performing their duties. While dischargin­g their duties, some tested positive and others lost their lives,” he said.

During the year 2019-20, forest staff booked 6,721 cases saving `5.64 crore worth of timber and collected compoundin­g fees to the tune of `10.61 crore, apart from seizing 1,564 vehicles. This is in addition to the 2,585 undetected cases that have been registered involving timber worth `3.42 crore transporte­d to government timber depots. 668 encroachme­nt cases were also filed.

At the outset of the day’s celebratio­n, the Telangana United Foresters’ Federation (TUFF) drafted a representa­tion to the forest minister in which they said that nothing concrete had been done to protect the frontline staff. They demanded an ex gratia amount of `25 lakh to be given to the family of deceased forest officials.They also asked for the family of the deceased to get full salary till the time the person would have worked in the department. They also asked for the PM’s scholarshi­p be given to the children of the foresters akin to the one being extended to the children of deceased soldiers.

The foresters federation asked for the constituti­on of the President’s gallantry medal for the officers, improvemen­t of their working conditions and also armament under the relevant sections of IPC and CrPC.

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