Raipur: A forest deputy ranger was killed and three others injured when timber thieves allegedly assaulted them during a raid at village in Chhattisgarh's Surajpur, police said on Friday.
The incident took place late last night when forest personnel raided a house at Ganeshpur village under Pratappur police station limits, Surajpur ASP Manisha Thakur told PTI.
Deputy ranger Motilal Sahu (58), posted in Dharampur forest circle was killed in the incident, Thakur said.
Acting on a specific input that the smuggled timber wood logs were being unloaded at the house of one Kamlesh Paikra in Ganeshpur, Sahu along with three forest guards moved towards the spot, she said.
The forest team initiated seizure action as soon as they found the wood logs in the house, the officer said, adding, subsequently, Paikra along with his accomplices attacked them with sticks.
The three guards were injured in the assault but somehow managed to escape from the spot and reached the nearby police station, following which a police team was sent to the spot, she said.
Body of Sahu was recovered from a field outside the village and prima facie it appears that he was beaten to death, the senior officer said.
However, the postmortem report will ascertain the exact cause of the death, she added.
Three persons have been taken into custody in this connection, while Paikra is at large as he fled from the village.
A case has been registered in this connection and further probe was on, the ASP added.
Meanwhile, state Forest Minister Mahesh Gagda termed it as "very unfortunate" and asked officials to take stern action against the accused.
"This is very unfortunate. I have spoken to forest and police officials and asked them to take stern action against the accused," Gagda told reporters.
The minister further said he will chair a meeting with senior police and forest officials to chalk out fresh strategies to check illegal cutting and transportation of woods.
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Updated Date: Jun 12, 2015 19:04:35 IST