Forest staff attacked by ‘alcohol smugglers’ at Asola sanctuary

The officials were admitted to Batra Hospital. “The police was called, and we are in the process of filing an FIR,” Anand said.

Four forest officials who were patrolling the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in South Delhi were injured on Thursday after being attacked allegedly by alcohol smugglers.

Amit Anand, Deputy Conservator of Forests, South Forest Division, said a patrol team was out to check for trespassers in the sanctuary when they were attacked around 7-7.30 pm: “Around 24-25 people attacked the team with rods. The patrolling vehicle has been damaged and four staff members were injured, two grievously. The patrolling team comprised 7-8 people.”

The officials were admitted to Batra Hospital. “The police was called, and we are in the process of filing an FIR,” Anand said.

Atul Kumar Thakur (DCP South), said, “Information has been received from Batra Hospital that four forest guards were admitted after they were allegedly beaten up by some unknown persons during patrolling… The injured have been examined and the place of incident is being verified. Further action will be taken as per their statement and MLCs.”

Officials said patrolling had been increased in the area over the past few months to curb smuggling of alcohol from Haryana into Delhi. Dirt paths have been set up in the sanctuary over the years to smuggle alcohol into Delhi from Haryana, where the rates are lower.

The Indian Express had reported earlier this month that forest officials in the South division have been equipped with anti-riot gear as instances of attacks had increased. There have been several cases of stone pelting and violence against staffers in the South division during attempts to clear encroachments from forest land and patrolling.

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