12 tribal women in Mancherial who were arrested on the charges of allegedly encroaching upon a forest land were granted bail today. A couple of days ago, the forest officials have filed separate cases against 24 members of the Koipochiguda tribal community, and 12 of them - all women have been arrested. After the arrest of the tribal women, the families of them have taken up protests at the forest base camp.
On June 6th, Mulugu MLA Seethakka also visited the women in the jail and said that the forest officials physically dealt with the tribal women.
The forest officials said that cases were filed against the tribal women who were encroaching on the forest land which was in the tiger reserve. But the tribals said that they have been engaged in podu cultivation in the land since 2003.
According to the reports, the encroachments on forest lands have increased after Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that the government will issue pattas last year. One of the forest officials speaking to a news agency said, "The government should find a solution for this issue and should stop the encroachments. Otherwise, the forest area will be destroyed."