Timber smuggling continues unabated
TURA: The seizure of 18 mature logs of sal trees from timber smugglers by North Garo Hills police on Monday has once again exposed that smugglers are continuing with their crime of felling trees inside reserve forests and transporting the produce to neighbouring Assam.
Monday’s seizure revealed that the timber originated from the Darugre reserve forest in Rongjeng area of East Garo Hills and to avoid police and forest department patrolling the smugglers had used a village road to try and cut across Kharkutta in North Garo Hills to head into Assam.
As many as five persons were arrested with the timber consignment by Kharkutta police.
The arrested men revealed to police that village roads have now become the most sought after routes for timber smugglers to ferry their illegal consignment because of the absence of patrolling by forest and police teams.
“In this case also, the smugglers had illegally felled trees inside Darugre reserve forest and used a village road to come this far before they were caught,” said North Garo Hills police chief Dalton P Marak.
The smugglers were using a village road to avoid detection at Dainadubi police station when the law caught up with them at Kharkutta.
Smuggling of the precious timber from Garo Hills has been rampant since the last one year with dozens of trucks allegedly filled with freshly sawn timber logs making their way out of Garo Hills towards Assam in the dead of night.
Questions had been raised about the alertness of both police and forest department personnel since timber was being transported through the main routes of Garo Hills without much of a search.
Some weeks ago, villagers in Samanda and Chiading area of Jengjal helped to intercept vehicles laden with illegal timber that had been felled from Rongrenggre reserve forest of Williamnagar.