Bani range of Kathua district has witnessed mercilessly felling of lush green Deodar trees by timber smugglers and thieves and succeeded in smuggling those out conservatively valued at Rs 1.20 crore. The most astonishing but shocking aspect is the alleged active connivance of forest officials in this irretrievable loss of green cover. It is not some hearsay on the basis of what is believed to have happened and how but it is the local Panchayat members who have reported about the incident to the Revenue officials of Bani. They must be duly encouraged and even rewarded. This felling of the precious green cover having taken places nearly 25 days ago should have been taken very seriously by those supposed to protect and guard it, instead some of them from the Forest Department are reportedly to have threatened the locals and the Panchayat members about the ”consequences” of reporting about this jungle loot. However, reports that DFO Basholi and Range Officer Bani have now been “attached” and a departmental enquiry ordered denote that at least cognizance of this wanton felling of precious green treasure has been taken by the Government. We hope that not only shall the departmental enquiry submit its report at an early date but responsibility and accountability will be duly fixed, cost of damages recovered and the concerned smugglers and thieves arrested and prosecuted.