Inter-state wood smuggling racket busted in Punjab

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Hoshiarpur, Oct 11 (UNI) In a crackdown on an inter-state timber mafia active in the Kandi area of this district, the forest officials here seized 8 quintal khair wood worth Rs 2 lakh last evening and nabbed a smuggler.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Hoshiarpur, Sewa Singh in a press conference here today claimed to have unearthed a khair timber smuggling racket which supplied wood illegally to traders in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

Acting on a tip-off, officials raided the house of Sukhdev Singh alias Sukha at village Dhirowal and seized 2 quintal Khairwood, illegally collected from the forest area and arrested Sukhdev Singh under Indian Forest Act.

During interrogation, Sukhdev Singh revealed that he used to chop down and supply the trees to one Chhinda of Gajran village located in the Garhshankar Forest Division. It was later sold to Pinka and Babla of Chotewal village near Nangal township.

A team of forest department raided the godowns of Chhinda, Pinka and Babla. At Chotewal, the officials succeeded in seizing 6 quintal Khair wood logs but Pinka and Babla managed to escape, said the DFO.

The team of forest officials sent to Gajran to nab Chhinda could neither find him nor any stock of any type of wood from his premises.

DFO further claimed that many of the wood smugglers of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh used to supply Khair wood to Pinka and Babla at their village Chotewal, regularly. After removing the bark of Khair wood, they dispatched the finished logs to cities like Delhi, Rohtak and Kanpur through goods train.

Sukhdev Singh has been remanded in judicial custody till October 24, by Chief Judicial Magistrate, he said adding that search for wood smugglers Chhinda, Pinka and Babla was on.

UNI

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