Hyderabad, Nov 7 : Police in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday booked a legislator of the ruling TDP and his aides for criminal trespass in a wildlife sanctuary and alleged assault on forest officials.
Chinthamaneni Prabhakar of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and his supporters were booked at Kaikalur police station in Krishna district on the complaint of forest officials.
Prabhakar, who represents Dendulur in West Godavari district, along with his supporters tried to lay a road through Atapaka bird sanctuary to Komatilanka in West Godavari district on Friday night.
They allegedly threatened and even assaulted forest officials when the latter tried to stop them from laying the road. The officials said laying of the road violates the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court for protection of the reserve forest area.
Home to pelicans and other migratory birds, Atapaka bird sanctuary is located on Kolleru lake, one of the largest fresh water lakes in the country. On several occasions in the past the officials faced resistance from local politicians to their efforts to protect the lake and forest area spread over two districts.
The TDP legislator, however, defended his action saying it is not a crime to lay road to the village. He said he was only putting gravel on an old road.
He said the forest officials showed over enthusiasm on the issue. “If you pay bribe, you can build anything,” he remarked.
This the second time in last few months that the legislator found himself in a controversy. In July, he and his aides were booked for allegedly manhandling a woman officer in Krishna district when she tried to stop them from illegal sand mining.
The followers of Prabhakar had bodily lifted D. Vanjakshi, a revenue official, when she laid down before a tractor to stop it from illegally transporting the sand on the border between Krishna and West Godavari districts.