Police lodges FIR; Forester, Guard suspended

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, July 4: Director Social Forestry (J&K), Ashwani Gupta today placed a Forester and Beat Guard under suspension for their alleged connivance with the land mafia men and failure to inform the higher officials regarding land grabbing attempts for the last several weeks in Bajalta area near Jammu and felling of large number of green trees while Nagrota Police today registered an FIR in this connection.
As reported by the Excelsior today regarding land grabbing by the land mafia men on the behest of two politicians from NC and BJP including a former legislator and a senior police officer, the Governor’s Administration came into action today. Nagrota Police registered an FIR No. 161/2018 against the accused persons.
SP Rural Dushyant Sharma confirmed that he inquired about the matter from the SDPO, Yashvir Singh and SHO Nagrota Deepak Slathia and they have registered an FIR. He said that an FIR No. 161/ 2018 at Police Station Nagrota has been registered and he himself will supervise the investigation and action.
Police had given repeated reminders to the Social Forestry Department earlier also but they didn’t cooperate.
Director, Social Forestry, Mr Gupta when contacted said that today, the Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, Forest Department sought the entire detail about the case after the matter was reported in the media.
He said that Forester, Ramesh Kumar Zutshi who was on deputation to Social Forestry Jammu from SFC and Beat Guard Surjit Singh have been placed under suspension. Moreover, the similar action against the concerned Range Officer is being recommended to the Commissioner/ Secretary as it was beyond his domain.
Moreover, the DFO has written to the DC Jammu for the demarcation of land about week back but there was no action from revenue side. Surprisingly, the ACR Jammu acting beyond his jurisdiction issued an order abstaining Forest staff not to interfere in the said land, without listening to the other side. But that order has also been challenged by his senior. This entire matter and role of various officials is needed to be investigated in this regard.
Another senior Forest Officer said that Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma taking serious note of the issue today convened an urgent meeting of various officers from Forest, Social Forestry, Revenue and Police departments today. He has directed for conducting immediate demarcation of land and probe the matter properly by fixing responsibility on the concerned officials within one week. He has directed all the parties to stay away from this area till a joint demarcation and inquiry is conducted.