BHADARWAH: After coming across large scale encroachment of forest land and unabated green felling in Jaie block of Chiralla range in Bhadarwah Forest Division (BFD), Advisor to Governor Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday ordered suspension of DFO Bhadarwah along with six other forest officers for their alleged failure to protect forest wealth and initiate action against the encroachers.
Advisor to Governor directed Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) under order number OSD(A) /Adv(K) 2019//326, to place Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Bhadarwah, Range Officer(RO) Chiralla, Forester of Jaie Block and all the forest guards posted in compartments 1 to 12 of Chiralla range under suspension and attach them with the office of PCCF till further order. The PCCF has been asked to hold an enquiry and submit the report to administrative department in a maximum of 10 days time. It is pertinent to mention here that State Times had published a report on unabated green felling in Tanta area of Chiralla range and encroachment of forest land especially grazing meadows in connivence with some forest officials, which has irked environmentalists and cattle rearers simultaneously. The environment activists and Villagers living near forest have flayed the authorities for inaction, accusing them of conniving with the timber smugglers and encroachers. They expressed concern in wake of several pictures and videos doing rounds on social media that show large scale felling of Cedar trees using diesel cutters by smugglers. Activists say illegal deforestation by timber mafia is fast depleting the forest cover on the hills once home to dense coniferous forests. It is notable to mention here that after reports of massive green felling and large scale encroachment on forest land in Tanta area, when a media team visited the area but as soon they reached compartment number 4 adjoining Dramman village, two senior Journalists including State Times Reporter Raja Rehber Jamal was attacked and made hostage by the goons of forest mafia. The goons manhandled journalists and even threatened to kill them. When repeatedly tried to contact PCCF Suresh Chug, his cell phone was switched off.
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