The State government permitted the Environment, Forests, Science and Technology Department to procure 125 revolvers from the Indian Ordnance Factories at Ishapur in West Bengal and Kanpur for strengthening security under the Red Sanders Protection Scheme during 2018-19.

A G.O. (RT No. 98) to that effect was issued on behalf of Principal Secretary G. Anantha Ramu. The permission was given as per a request made by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Force in March 2018 and in reference to G.O. MS No. 116 dated December 20, 2013.

The then State government had through G.O. No. 116 allowed the purchase of 250 SBBL guns and 125 non-prohibited bore revolvers and placing them at the disposal of the Forest Department. The clearance was for purchasing the said arms and ammunition by the Police Department through the State Trading Corporation.

Purchase of the weapons by the Forest Department has been necessitated by the spurt in smuggling of red sanders which reached a flashpoint with the gunning down of 20 suspected woodcutters in Seshachalam forest range in April 2015.

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