Forest scam unearthed

Published: Friday 28 February 1997

in rohtak district of Haryana, a scandal involving the illicit felling of about 10,000 trees worth about Rs 50 lakh has recently surfaced. Apparently, several persons including some forest department (fd) officials have been framed in several cases.

The trees which belonged to the fd, were reportedly felled between December 1995 and April 1996 in the Jhajjar forest area. After a complaint was lodged by certain officials and the Van Karamchari Mahasangh (forest workers association), a three-member inquiry committee brought the scandal to the notice of the government.

An fd team conducted raids on the premises of one Mahinder Singh on complaints that several of the illegally felled trees had been purchased by him. A criminal case was also registered against Singh on charges of assaulting the range officer who was investigating the scandal. It was stated that 2,300 trees including keekar, sheesham and eucalyptus were felled along the Sikandarpur minor, Jahangirpur minor and the Jawaharlal Nehru minor range areas.

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