In a suspected case of murder by the forest mafia, the body of a 24-year-old forest guard, Hoshiar Singh, was found hanging upside down from a tree in Seri Katanda area of Karog in Mandi district. The police said the guard had gone missing from duty.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was in Dharampur area of Mandi, dismissed the demand from the deceased’s family and locals to hand over probe to the CBI. “The state police is competent to investigate the crime and the guilty will not be spared,” he said, while denying the claim that the forest mafia was active in the forests.
The victim’s family said he had been receiving threats from the mafia and the matter was also reported to his seniors who ignored it. The family members agreed to cremate the body only after assurance from senior forest officials of action against the guilty and appropriate compensation for the family.