Anantnag, Aug 11: Kuthar area of the Anantnag Forest Division in south Kashmir has become a hotbed of illicit timber smuggling, with Compartment No. 77K to 84K turning into a haven for jungle smugglers.
Boldly conducting their illegal activities in broad daylight, these criminals have managed to evade authorities, raising serious concerns about the potential environmental fallout.
The audacity of these timber smugglers has left local residents alarmed and dismayed. Despite the daylight heists taking place, authorities have struggled to put an end to the ongoing looting of the area’s precious green gold. Local residents have united in their appeal to the authorities to take swift and stringent action against those responsible for the wanton destruction of this vital natural resource.
The local residents have also made allegations against a forest guard(beat officer) who has been stationed in the aforementioned area, reportedly assuming the role of a forest officer for a number of years.
“Just a few days ago, a significant incident took place when several horses carrying illegal timber were apprehended. However, following negotiations, the seized horses were promptly released,” they said.
The residents have earnestly appealed to the authorities for a comprehensive reshuffle of all staff within this forest division, emphasizing the need to prevent any further instances of looting in the area
Upon reaching out to Divisional Forest Officer Mohammad Ramzan Mir, he said that a team will be formed to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, aiming to hold the culprits accountable within the bounds of the law. Also he said control room officials are set to conduct visits to these areas to facilitate the investigative process and ensure that those involved in smuggling activities are duly apprehended and brought to justice.(KNS).