STATE TIMES NEWSMAJALTA: Hailing Governor S P Malik for his statement that strict action would be taken against ‘forest thieves’ and others who looted the forest wealth over the years, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, Harsh Dev Singh hoped that all politicians and bureaucrats, involved in plunder of forest resources and encroachments on forest lands, would be booked under law. Reminiscing solemn resolve of the Governor during a plantation drive in Zabarwan hills, to catch such big-fish who had minted millions and constructed palatial Bunglows in the State and elsewhere by misusing forest resources, Singh said that such initiatives needed to be supported by one and all. He said that the people are eagerly awaiting action against forest mafia, who had accumulated huge wealth by destroying forests besides retrieval of all encroached forest lands from these politicians and bureaucrats. He was addressing public meetings in village Sail Kori Bair and Bharnara of Majalta tehsil today. While poor and un-influential alone are targeted, the big and mighty are granted immunity from punitive action despite their unfair deeds and highly irregular practices, said Harsh. “The Governor must start from the upper side. For cleansing of staircase, the process always begins from the top. Thats precisely what he promised during Zabarwan meeting in Srinagar,” said Singh. Pointing towards large scale destruction of trees including deodar in Ramnagar, Jammu and Billawar forest divisions, Singh said that forest mafia had constructed houses not only in Vasant Vihar and Maharani Bagh as pointed out by the Governor but elsewhere also with the help of such dirty money. Singh expressed the hope that Governor would keep his word and initiate stern action against all ‘forest thieves’ without any bias and without any regard for the party, to which the culprits were affiliated.
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