Encroachers from Arunachal Pradesh open fire on Assam forest officers on Tuesday, preventing the latter from destroying trees.
How they got to know about the incident
When Rampur Range Beat Officer Banamali Narah was jogging in the area in the morning, he heard sounds of trees being felled, Lakhimpur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashok Kumar Dev Choudhury said.
In the Jutuli Bagan region of the reserve forest, the culprits used hand-operated machinery. He learned that encroachers from Arunachal Pradesh were chopping down trees in Jutuli Bagan.
The beat officer arrived at his office and left with forest guards for Jutuli Bagan. When they arrived at the location, the culprits opened fire. The firing was in response to the forest officers’ retaliation. During the incident, however, no one was hurt. The culprits had fled the scene.
What does the officials say
“(Mr) Narah immediately informed me and I asked him to go to the spot with a team and check it. As they approached the location, the miscreants fired one round in the air and then two rounds at the team,” Mr Choudhury told the PTI news agency.
“As the forest team was not prepared to handle such attacks, I asked my officers to return for their safety. Later, I informed the police and district officials for necessary action,” Mr Choudhury continued.
Who were there in the open fire
PJ Vijaykar, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Bonkim Sarmah, Tezpur Conservator (North Assam), and Ashok Dev Choudhuri, Lakhimpur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), came at the site with a team of police officers. They later met with the Arunachal Pradesh administration to discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, in Silonibari Police Outpost, the beat officer filed a case in this regard.