The role of certain forest department officials has come under the scanner of Panchkula police in connection of felling of Khair trees. Three people including two forest staff members were arrested on April 6 at Thapli in Morni Hills related to this. The two forest officials , Forest inspector Sucha Singh and guard Gian Singh, who were held were suspended from their duties on Saturday.
According to police sources, the office of Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Pinjore, issued a permit for razing 25 trees to Gurnam Singh and Munni Lal, both residents of Thapli village. Sources said that while Gurnam Singh was given the permit to raze 10 trees, Munni Lal was allowed to raze 15. However, both chopped off more than 25 Khair trees.
When contacted, DFO, Pinjore, Ved Parkash said, “The permits were issued from my office and it was the duty of Forest Inspector Sucha Singh and guard Gian Singh to ensure that the permit holders will not indulge in the felling of more than 25 Khair trees.”
The eight apprehended included Sucha Singh, Gian Singh and one contractor Sunil Kumar. Five other apprehended were laborers, who were released after the detailed questioning.