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‘Cops backing illegal tree-felling gang’

Even a week after the registration of FIRs against a gang allegedly behind the illegal chopping of trees in the Ferozepur forest area,the police have not made a single arrest.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Published: March 17, 2012 5:08:52 am

Even a week after the registration of FIRs against a gang allegedly behind the illegal chopping of trees in the Ferozepur forest area,the police have not made a single arrest. Instead,the culprits are staging a dharna against District Forest Officer (DFO) Sanjay Tiwari along with the villagers outside his office and house,demanding cancellation of the FIRs.

“We gave ample proof to the police along with a CD which shows that trees are being chopped by an organised gang run by Balkar Singh and Mukhtiar Singh of village Bakra,Balbir Singh of village Gillawala and Jita Singh of village Chandiwala,” said the DFO.

“Our staff had caught employees of the above mentioned persons red-handed along with three trolleys full of wood. The trolleys are in our custody. The police registered four FIRs against the above mentioned people but no arrest has been made so far,” added Tiwari.

“After conducting an inquiry,we found 45 fully grown sheesham and Eucalyptus trees chopped in the recent incident,” he pointed out. “In the past too,this gang has chopped many trees and a number of cases are pending against them.”

“After chopping the trees,they indulge in illegal sand mining in that area and have minted lakhs of rupees till now,” informed Tiwari.

He stated that because of the dharna outside his office and even residence,it has become difficult to make an entry inside. The forest staff have alleged that the

culprits too sit in the dharna and demand cancellation

of the FIRs.

Meanwhile,the protestors have alleged that the forest staff have levelled false allegations against them and that the forest employees themselves are involved in the scam.

When contacted Ferozepur SSP S S Mann confirmed the registration of FIRs. Commenting on the delay in action,he said,“We are in the process of bringing the evidence into the file. The culprits will be nabbed soon. We are not allowing any delay.”

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