‘Man sets forest on fire to keep away monkeys’

‘Man sets forest on fire to keep away monkeys’
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CHITIRNAAR: The Forest department has initiated an inquiry against a man who allegedly set on fire a forest to keep away monkeys in Bandipora’s Khuihama forest range.
The Forest department also wrote to the SHO police station Bandipora, asking him to register a case against the man, who was caught by other youth, allegedly setting the forest on fire, to keep monkeys from entering his orchard.
The letter from Range Officer, Khuihama says that the beat staff Chiternaar had received information on June 3, in evening hours, that compartment No.108/Khuihama of Chitternar block has been engulfed by fire.
“Acting quickly the concerned beat staff reached the spot and with the assistance of some local youth the fire was doused off. The local youth identified the accused person as Ghulam Hassan resident of Checkreshipora who has set the forests on fire to resist the monkeys from entering his garden. As such it is requested that FIR against the accused may kindly be lodged to curb any such incident in future,” the letter to SHO reads.
According to the officials, the block is an important part of the forest falling under Khuihama range. Though close to human population, wild animals mostly monkeys are often seen roaming around. The forest training school and the office of the divisional forest officer also fall very close to the location.
A video of the man caught by youth at the time of fire had earlier gone viral on social media.
In the video, youth counter a middle-aged man carrying suspicious material and returning downhill, behind him a large portion of forest engulfed in flames. The man flees the spot and youth get together to douse off flames bare feet and prevent it from spreading further. The video has angered locals and civil society members and also won praises for youth for their effort.