JAMMU, Feb 13: Raising slogans against the State Government for giving shelter to some corrupt Legislators and Ministers involved in the encroachment of Forest land besides loot of green wealth, J&K National Panthers Party activists led by Yashpal Kundal State president Young Panthers staged a protest demonstration against the Forest Department outside Van Bhavan here today.
Anguished over the recent action of Forest Department in tehsil Majalta over a week ago, Kundal divulged that Forest teams along with heavy contingent of police and Forest Protection Force entered and raided the premises of the saw mill owners in several villages of tehsil Majalta which led to public protest. He claimed that the Forest teams confiscated machinery and tools from the saw mills without any notice and assigning reasons.
Kundal said that public also staged protests in outrage and resented the action as politically motivated in view of local MLA having made several complains against saw mill owners for vested interests. Deploring the Forest Department for harassing the poor, Yashpal Kundal said that it unlawfully continued to intimidate the poor and gullible people while granting shelter to the corrupt and mighty politicians.
While a few Ministers and some Legislators were openly encroaching forest land and plundering Forest resources, no punitive action was being taken against them. Moreover, the local MLA had constructed a palatial bungalow in Kail Majalta after becoming a legislator and it was reported that large number of scants of deodar had been illegally used by him in the construction of the said bungalow but the Forest Department failed to take cognizance of the matter.
He further alleged that a BJP Minister had encroached huge Forest land in and around Jammu brazenly but the Forest Department remained silent over the matter.
Rajesh Padgotra, Paramjeet Marshall, Khajoor Singh, Gagan Pratap, Parshotam Parihar, Nirmal Kishore, Mohinder Singh, Raj Kumar and Rajesh Gandhi also accompanied.