Acting on a tip-off, field staff and control room of Kandi Range seized around 200 cfts of illegal timber that was loaded on a Tata sumo, a Maruti car and a horse cart.
Forest officials said that in the holy month of Ramzan, when people are restricted to prayers during Sehri, Iftaar and Taraweeh, smugglers take advantage to steal forest timber.
Divisional Forest Officer of Kamraj Forest Division has directed Range officer Kandi Sopore to intensify anti-smuggling activities.
Range Officer Kandi Range Sopore, Javid Rahim said, “Around eight FIRs have been lodged against 35 smugglers in different police stations. At a few places field officers had a scuffle with the smugglers. In the process, one of our forest staff Bashir Ahmad Ganaie was severely injured in the Shiva area of Sopore. Smugglers have damaged 12 of our vehicles. Five employees have sustained injuries at Rampora Rajpora area.”
Rahim said that our forest staff cannot do much to stop smuggling as they can only lodge FIR’s, register court challans and recommend cases for PSA. “Thousands of FIRs, hundreds of PSA and court challans has been registered so far but no action has been taken on them till date. In addition to this, there is dearth of field staff and lack of other facilities needed to check anti-smuggling activities.”