As many as 13 sandalwood trees were chopped and stolen from the secured premises of the High Explosives Factory located in Khadki. The incident adds to several such cases in the recent past in which theft of sandalwood trees is reported from secured premises.
A First Information Report in the incident was registered at Khadki police station Sunday by officials of the High Explosives Factory. The complaint states that 13 sandalwood trees near the old boat club facility on the factory premises came to light on the night of June 24.
The officials subsequently approached the Khadki police station and an FIR was registered against the unidentified suspects. Senior inspector Dattatray Chavan, in-charge of Khadki police station said, “The area from where the trees were stolen is located close to Mula riverfront. As per our primary information, security guards were deployed in the area. The probe is on.”
High Explosives Factory in Khadki is one of 41 ordnance factories under the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board and it now comes under the Pune-headquartered Munitions India Ltd after the process of corporatisation.
Investigation into similar thefts across the city in the past has indicated the involvement of organised gangs.
This is not the first time that sandalwood trees have disappeared from secured perimeters in Pune. In January, six fully grown sandalwood trees were allegedly felled and stolen from the premises of the Bombay Engineer Group (BEG) and Centre of the Indian Army.
In October last year, four sandalwood trees were felled and smuggled out from the quarters of Garrison Engineer (North) in Pune Camp. Earlier in September, four sandalwood trees from the State Reserve Police Force premises and two from the campus of the Armed Forces Medical Stores Depot on Dr Coyaji Road were stolen.
In August ten sandalwood trees were smuggled out from the premises of the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Colony on Pashan Road and in June, seven sandalwood trees were stolen from the heavily guarded premises of the Ammunition Factory in Khadki.