Red sander smugglers killed a constable in Andhra Pradesh’s Annamayya district when police were conducting a search operation.
The incident occurred on Monday night in Cheenepalli village in KV Palle mandal when Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force was conducting a search operation following information about smuggling of red sander in the area.
According to police, when a constable spotted a car carrying red sander, he signalled the driver to stop. However, the smugglers hit him with the car and escaped. The critically injured cop died while being shifted to a hospital at Pileru.
The constable was identified as Ganesh, belonging to 14th battalion of Andhra Pradesh Special Police (APSP).
Following the incident, the Task Force intensified the search operation and nabbed two smugglers along with a car and seized red sander. The search was on for three other smugglers.
The Rayalaseema region bordering Tamil Nadu is notorious for smuggling of red sander, a rare wood with huge demand globally.
Seshachalam forest, which covers undivided Chittoor and Kadapa districts, is the target of inter-state smugglers.
Also called red sandalwood, the precious wood is used in traditional medicines and woodcraft across China, Myanmar, Japan and other countries of East Asia.
In 2022, the Task Forced had arrested 73 smugglers and seized 50 tonnes of red sander.