Assam Forest Department official killed in clash, two arrested – aabtak24


Guwahati, May 30, 2023, IANS

Guwahati, May 30 (IANS): Two persons were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in the killing of a Forest Department official in Assam’s Goalpara district late on Monday, police said.

The official, identified as Rajbir Ahmed, was killed and three other employees were critically injured following a clash that occurred over alleged timber smuggling in the Krishnai Salpara Darapara area of the district.

According to sources, the Boro Matia Reserved Forest was the site of an operation against alleged illegal timber smuggling on Monday night.

During the operation, the forest team confiscated a tractor and some illicit timber and as they were leaving with the seized items, a group of alleged timber smugglers attacked them using sharp-edged weapons.

Some local residents also attacked the forest staff. According to the police, the smugglers stole the officials’ mobile phones and two gold rings.

Police reached the spot and the four forest officials were rushed to a nearby hospital where Ahmed was declared dead on arrival.

The three critically injured persons have been sent to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) for advanced treatment.

A senior forest officer said: “Bamboos and machetes were used to attack our staff. As per the preliminary information, miscreants along with the locals gathered and launched an attack on them.”

Assam DGP G.P. Singh went to Dudhnoi police station in Goalpara to take stock of the situation there, and met police and Forest Department officials to review the progress of the investigation.

Addressing reporters, he said: “This is an unfortunate incident; however, the culprits will not be spared. We are adamant on increasing the forest cover in the state from 36 to 38 per cent and to achieve that, all kinds of illegal timber should be cut down in forests. We have been providing support to every operation conducted by the Forest Department.”

The DGP has instructed the local police to nab the miscreants involved with killing the forest officer.

Meanwhile, some residents of Krishnai Salpara Darapara flocked to the streets to demonstrate against the death of the Forest Department officer.

A number of protesters representing various parties and organisations gathered in front of the Krishnai Forest Officer’s office in Goalpara. The protesters want the surviving family members of the deceased official to receive compensation, and in order to catch all of the criminals engaged in the case, they have also demanded a comprehensive investigation into the occurrence.


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