Forest personnel from Pathalipam Forest Beat and Tariyani Forest Beat spots timber smugglers at the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border resulting in an exchange of firing.
Assam forest personnel retaliates without any delay
On Tuesday, forest personnel from Pathalipam Forest Beat and Tariyani Forest Beat spotted an elephant carrying timber logs along with some suspected timber smugglers during the afternoon.
According to sources, the suspected timber smugglers with the elephant were spotted in the No. 2 Ghagar areas under Dullung Reserve Forest near the inter-state border between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Sources inform that a team of Assam’s forest personnel asked the illegal timber smugglers to stop. However, instead of responding to the forest personnel, they started firing while targetting the forest team.
When the guards challenged them, four of them fired and managed to flee.
Therefore, without further ado, the Assam forest personnel also fired back without any delay.
Timber smugglers manage to sneak out during the chaos
According to sources, the timber smugglers managed to sneak into the Arunachal Pradesh side of the inter-state border by taking cover of the dense jungle leaving the elephant and three mahouts on the spot.
At the moment, the Lakhimpur forest department detains the elephants along with three mahouts.
Moreover, the mahouts have been identified as 30-year-old Bikash Gogoi, 37-year-old Kuheshwar Gogoi, and 48-year-old Raju Das.
Concerns regarding illegal transportation of timber
Massive felling of trees has been going on continuously inside the Dullung Reserve Forest, located along the Assam-Arunachal inter-state border in the Lakhimpur district.
Allegedly, timber logs in large numbers have been transported illegally to the neighboring state from this reserve forest.
According to the Indian Forest Act, 1927 to include the provision of booking timber smugglers under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) — the law allows detention of individuals without trial for up to two years.
In conclusion, the Indian Forest Act of 1927, the country’s guiding forestry legislation, sought to consolidate and preserve areas with forest cover or significant wildlife, to regulate movement and transit of forest produce, and to levy duties on timber and other forests produce.