Tehsildar of Imam Sahib area says a ‘notorious’ Sub-Inspector supervised the illegal felling
Shopian: Because the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) needed the wood for his house, five huge walnut trees were cut down in Woyen village of Shopian on Monday evening, even as policemen formed a cordon so that nobody could go near the spot. The owners of the trees themselves cut them down, though the felling of walnut trees, especially green walnut trees, has been banned by the state government for several years now.
The Tehsildar of the area said that the Sub-Inspector under whose supervision the trees were cut down, has been involved in several cases of corruption in the past.
Tehsildar Imam Sahib, Niyaz Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that the owners of the felled walnut trees, Mohammad Shafi and Bilal Ahmad, residents of Urpara tehsil Chitragam, cut down the trees on Monday at about 5pm.
“When the patwari of the area reached the spot, he found five big walnut trees chopped down,” Ahmad said.
He added, “When I contacted the in-charge of police station Imam Sahib, Sub-Inspector Javid Ahmad, for bringing the said culprits to my office, he admitted that it had been done under his knowledge, as the wood was to be taken to DySP Imam Sahib, Mir Gafoor, for his personal use. I have recorded the conversation between us.”
Ahmad said he was shocked to hear this from a police officer holding the charge of Imam Sahib police station.
“It is pertinent to mention here that the said Sub-Inspector is a corrupt official. He often interferes in matters of the revenue department, so as to extract money from the public. I have received a number of complaints against him,” Ahmad said.
The Tehsildar added that he has discussed the issue with senior revenue officers and awaits strict action as per law. “The higher authorities are requested to kindly take the necessary action regarding this brazen crime in which police officials are the main culprits,” Ahmad said.
An official from the revenue department said that the chopped wood of the walnut trees has been handed to the Numberdar and Chowkidar of Woyen, till further action.
Residents of Woyen told Kashmir Reader that at 5pm on Monday, policemen cordoned off the locality where the trees stood. They said that due to the police cordon, nobody dared to interfere and the five walnut trees were chopped down.
Tehsildar Niyaz Ahmad made further accusations against Sub-Inspector Javid Ahmad. “Whenever anyone comes to us for registering a complaint against this Sub-Inspector, he raids their houses at night and arrests them on baseless cases. He takes money (bribe) from people whenever anyone starts construction of a house or shop. He goes there and asks for money,” the Tehsildar said.
The chopping of walnut trees was banned by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir’s office many years ago.
Senior Superintendent of Police Shopian, AS Dinkar, told Kashmir Reader that he will check the details first.
Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Aijaz Asad, said, “We have lodged an FIR in this matter and we are investigating it. I have talked to the Senior Superintendent of Police in this regard and we are doing a thorough investigation.”
When told that police officers were involved in this crime, he said, “Whosoever is involved in this illegal work, will be booked as per law.”
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, South Kashmir, Amit Kumar told Kashmir Reader that if the allegations are found to be true, strict action will be taken against whosoever is involved. “Let me confirm first. If this turns out to be true, appropriate action will be taken,” Kumar assured.