Tree felling in Kerala exposes timber lobby-forest employees nexus

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Specific Information Service

KOZHIKODE: The bribe allegations raised by key accused Roji Augustine within the Muttil tree felling case have dropped at focus the murky offers between the timber foyer and a bit of forest employees, apart from the rift within the forest division. The Muttil tree felling was preceded by one other felling incident at Manikkunnumala underneath Thrikkaipetta village. This difficulty was dropped at mild by Roji allegedly to take revenge on the Meppadi Forest Vary Officer (RO) who seized the logs lower from Muttil by the previous’s Surya Timbers firm.

As per the report of Chief Conservator of Forest (CF) Northern Vary D Okay Vinod Kumar on February 20 this 12 months, the then Meppadi RO had given permission to chop 4 rosewood timber in a pattaya land in April 2020. As an alternative, seven timber have been lower and the identical have been transported via the forest land on October 17 final 12 months with out permission.

This was probed by Conservator of Forest (social forestry) N T Sajan in February this 12 months when he had further cost of conservator of forest (Inspection and Analysis) for 4 days. Roji and his brothers tipped off Sajan in regards to the incident and he inspected the location on February 15.

The report submitted by Sajan the identical day mentioned the timber have been lower not from pattaya land however vested forest land or left-out vested land, which is a severe offence. In his report, a duplicate of which was obtained via an RTI question, Sajan demanded strict motion towards the Vythiri forest station Deputy RO, termed the South Wayanad DFO’s position as shady and identified the lapses of Meppadi RO M Okay Sameer.

2 instances that reveal collusion with timber foyer

“Muttil and Manikkunnumala are two completely different points. I’m certain that the land at Manikkunnumala is both vested forest or authorities land. It’s my obligation to revive such land to the federal government,” mentioned Sajan. However the primary allegation towards him is that he colluded with Augustine brothers to lure the Meppadi RO. It’s alleged he travelled in Augustine brothers’ car to succeed in the spot however he denied it. “I travelled in my official car. It’s not related who knowledgeable me about Manikkunnumala tree felling however I needed to examine whether or not there was any fact within the data,” he instructed TNIE.

Nonetheless, Sameer joined because the Meppadi RO solely on January 2 and proceedings associated to the Manikkunnumala tree felling have been accomplished by his predecessor. In the meantime, Roji had alleged on Thursday that he had given `10 lakh in bribe to South Wayanad DFO P Ranjith Kumar. Nonetheless, speaking to TNIE, Ranjith dismissed the allegation of taking bribe.

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