Farmers besieged the forest department and engaged in a struggle to enforce the High Court order on the Thimphu Hill Trail.

The Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve has imposed a ban on night traffic on the Thimphu Hill Road on Feb. 10 in a case filed in the Chennai High Court alleging that animals including leopards and spotted deer were killed in vehicles traveling on the Thimphu Hill Tracts.

The farmers’ union filed a writ petition against this. After hearing arguments from both sides, the Chennai High Court on April 6 allowed the lorries of vegetables weighing less than 16.2 tonnes to move. Following this the locals were ready to operate the vegetable vehicles from Saturday night.

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In this situation, the forest department informed the people of Talawadi that vehicles coming from Karnataka would not be allowed at the Karapallam check post on the border between the two states and that mini lorries would not be allowed to pick up after 6 pm.

The shocked farmers were identified as Talawadi Agricultural Association President Kannayan and Samrajnagar Agricultural Association President; More than 100 farmers, led by Prakash, rallied at the Karapallam check post. Forester Sivakumar and Talawadi Police Inspector Anbarasu and Talawadi Vattachiyar Umamakeshwaran who were present at the time held talks with the farmers’ union.

Following this, the High Court has ordered to allow 10 wheelers and 16.2 tonnes vehicles. The farmers’ unions appealed for the High Court order to be respected. The farmers dispersed after the forest department said it would allow light vehicles, including pickups and mini lorries, to pass at night.

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