On February 20, 2017, range forest officer (RFO) Daulat Ram Lader was having his ritual after-dinner tea with wife Pushpa when there was a knock at the door. Lader was posted at Lailunga, Dharamjaigarh forest division, in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district.
Lader opened the door and stepped out to speak with the visitors. An hour later, his body, hacked to death, was found some 40 yards from his home, just across the local police thana (outpost).
A month before, Lader had seized a tractor carrying illegally mined stones from the Kelo river, a tributary of Mahanadi that flows through the Lailunga reserve forest. It belonged to one Dilo Kumar.
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