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11 red sanders woodcutters held in AP

Hyderabad: Eleven woodcutters from Tamil Nadu were arrested in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh when they were allegedly on their way to cut red sanders wood, police said today.

In a joint operation, a team consisting of police and forest officials nabbed the woodcutters near a check-post last night when they were on their way to cut red sanders, DIG (Anantapur Range) K Satyanarayana told PTI over phone.

“The group of woodcutters, all belonging to Tamil Nadu, were travelling in a state-run bus and based on the information, the police and forest officials caught them,” the DIG said adding that no red sander logs were seized from them.

Further investigation into the case is on.

Red sanders, also known as red sandalwood, is a valuable wood which has a huge demand overseas, particularly in China, Japan and East Asia where it is used for making cosmetic products, furniture, musical instruments and is even used in traditional medicines.

Red sanders grow mainly in Seshachalam hill ranges spread across Kadapa, Chittoor and Kurnool in the Rayalaseema region and parts of Nellore district in AP, though majority of red sanders smuggling takes place from Chittoor and Kadapa.