13 April, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh Forest Department has warned of taking stringent action against those entering the Seshachalam forests area without permission, including imposition of prohibitory orders under Section-144 CrPC.
The Department is planning to enforce the Forest Protection Act, 1980, and AP Forest Act, 1967, against those who enter the forest without authorisation. This follows orders issued by the State Wildlife Warden.
The punishment for violating the Acts includes fine of 25,000 rupees and imprisonment for two years or both.
The AP Forest Department had prohibited entry of unauthorised persons into the forest last year to protect red sanders and rare species of animals. It has also imposed Section-144 to check the activities of smugglers.
The Forest Department has taken a tough stand in the context of several recent events, with a resolve to strictly enforce the relevant Acts.
The Forest staff and the police, entrusted with the task of checking illegal transportation of red sanders, are empowered to open fire at offenders who resort to attacks.
The Department plans to create awareness among the residents of villages surrounding forests about the action it is contemplating. The action includes prohibiting entry of unauthorised persons into reserve forests and national parks.