Yeoor - guards attacked
MUMBAI: Three forest guards were assaulted by a group of four inebriated picnickers at the Yeoor forest checkpost in Thane recently.
Two of them have been arrested by the Vartak Nagar police. The entire incident was recorded on the CCTV installed at the Yeoor gate and will be used as evidence.
Subash Gopale, range forest officer of Yeoor said, "The Bombay high court has banned the entry of visitors in the Yeoor region of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park after dusk. On Friday, the group of four boys went to the forest in the evening to drink. As they were returning at 10 pm, they were stopped by the staff, whom they beat up. They have been booked by the police for assault, stopping a government servant from performing his duty and also under the provisions of the Indian Wildlife Act.''
Forest guard N K Jadhav said his colleagues, Subhash Maruti Chavan and A A Gharat, were manning the forest barrier post at Yeoor when the incident occurred. "The youths came in a Maruti van and one of them, Dhiraj Thakur, started arguing with the guards. He slapped and hit all of us. I pulled out my mobile to call the police but they smashed my cellphone. The others in the vehicle also hit us,'' said Jadhav.
Jadhav said the three others drove away in the dark, leaving Thakur behind. "Thakur started running, but we, with the help of the residents of the hutments nearby, nabbed him and handed him over to the police. Another accused turned up at the police station, while the rest are yet to be traced,'' Jadhav added.
Forest staffers said Thakur had threatened them some months ago too. Yeoor hills fall on the Thane end of the national park and the area is a protected forest. Since 1990, several people from Thane and Mumbai have constructed bungalows on lands owned by the tribals, though it is banned.