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Illegal cutting of green trees: Inquiry ordered into alleged involvement of employees

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SRINAGAR: The forest department Saturday ordered an inquiry into the alleged involvement of three of its employees in the illegal cutting of green trees within the woods near the protection office at Dedikoote area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Notably, after specific inputs, the Jammu and Kashmir police on late Friday evening detained three employees of the Forest Protection Force (FPF) at Dedikoote while allegedly cutting green Deodar trees within the forest area near the protection office.

Besides three employees, a labourer was also apprehended along with them and as per reports a total of 8 logs were recovered from the spot, and further investigation was immediately initiated.

A senior police official said that they claimed using wood for the personal usage of protection campus. “We have handed over all the three employees to the concerned Forest Range Officer and written to their conservator regarding the same and as to what they were doing with those short logs and whether their purpose within the forest premise was legal or not and accordingly police will take further course of action depending”, the official said asking anonymity.

“So far no case has been registered in this regard against three employees and the laborer since the reply is expected in two days from the conservator forest department”, he said. “If we require them in the future in case an FIR is registered, the concerned Range Officer will be responsible for handing over them to the police”.

Forest conservator North Kashmir Range, Irfan Rasool told KNO that all the three employees have been placed under suspension immediately and a departmental inquiry has been initiated in this regard which will be completed within three days by two Divisional Forest Officer’s (DFO’s) positively for further course of action into the same.

He informed that two senior officials include DFO Kamraj Division and Deputy Director Forest Protection Force Kupwara and have been assigned to complete the inquiry within three days.

He said that the case has been handover to the forest department by police for further course of action and which can even lead to termination if found and proven involved in the illegal activity.

“So far two versions have come up from them and both are conflicting but the senior officers directed to file the report will investigate it further and find out the facts”, he said.

Meanwhile, an official identified the three employees as Altaf Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Ahmad Bhat a resident of Gushi, Mohammad Amin Mir son of Abdul Khaliq Mir a resident of Mughalpora, and Adil Jeelani son of Ghulam Jeelani a resident of Drugmulla.

The official said that all the three are recruited permanent employees of the department. The official further informed that all the three have been attached to the Forest Protection Force Gamma Unit Anantnag—(KNO)

 

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