Timber mafia active in Baijnath area

PALAMPUR: Baijnath police seized forty one scants of valuable deodar timber last night and arrested two persons in this regard.

According to police sources, it was revealed that during night checking police party intercepted a jeep, which was carrying 41 sleepers of deodar without valid documents. Two persons traveling in jeep first tried to fled away but later caught by the police. They told the police that they do not have any permit for the carriage this timber as required under the forest laws.

Later police arrested both the persons and registered case under section 41 and 42 of H.P. Forest Act. Police also impounded the vehicle used in carrying the timber. The value of the timber was ascertained at rupees 1.5 lakh.

During investigation the arrested persons disclosed that the timber was brought from Chhota Bhangal area illegally. Police did not rule out the possibility of involvement of more persons in this case.

It may be recalled that timber mafia is active in Bir and Chhota Bhangal area of this district for the past three years, who were illegally felling the deodar trees and selling timber in Palampur, Baijnath and Paprola. Forest Department had virtually surrendered before the forest mafia and failed to initiate any action. The involvement of forest officials could also not be ruled out.

A senior journalist from Palampur.

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