BHADERWAH, Jan 8: Laun-ching crackdown over the smugglers of green gold, Forest Department seized 706 timber scants worth Rs 20 lakh and arrested one person.
Acting on a specific information, a team of Forest Control Room (FCR) Bhaderwah and sleuths of Forest Protection Force (FPF) led by Incharge Mohammad Haroon Khan under the supervision of DFO Bhaderwah Vivek Kumar raided Joura and Sham-Dalain villages near compartments 36 and 37 of Chiralla Range and seized 706 timber scants hidden under dry fodder and in the paddy fields. One smuggler was arrested on the spot, while six others including a saw mill owner managed to escape.
The arrested person has been identified as Dimple Singh, a resident of village Lehrote Khelleni, while those from whom illegal timber was recovered and were booked under 6 Forest Act include Mohammad Rafiq Sheikh, Shabir Ahmed Batt, Khursheed Ahmed Parray, Aajaz Ahmed, Abdul Latief of village Joura and a saw mill owner Shafqat Hussain Sheikh of Bhaderwah.
“We started crackdown against illegal loggers and smugglers on January 1 and within one week we manage to seized illegally extracted timber worth Rs 20 lakhs from only two compartments of Chiralla Range which clearly indicates the volume and intensity at which these smugglers are looting green gold”, DFO Bhaderwah Vivek Kumar said while sharing details with EXCELSIOR.
“We will not only continue but intensify our crusade against the smugglers and also against corrupt forest officials, who are hand-in-glove with forest mafia in facilitating this illegal activities”, DFO asserted.