Reyaz Rashid

Two vehicles seized with illicit timber in Rafiabad, forest official injured  

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Baramulla: Days after Kashmir Images reported an extensive story on unabated timber smuggling in north Kashmir forest divisions and officials denying any such smuggling, department of forest has finally pulled its socks and seized two vehicles carrying illicit timber in Rafiabad area of Langate forest division in past few weeks.

Official sources said that forest department has seized a Tata mobile, which was ferrying illicit timber, near Thukarpora Qaziabad area of Langate on Tuesday.

“Acting on specific inputs, a check point ‘nakka’ was laid by a team led by Range Officer (RO) Rafiabad,” the official sources said.

“A Tata mobile bearing registration number JK01R-8760 was intercepted and during checking around 25.93cft illicit timber was recovered. The vehicle has been seized,” they added.

They said that taking advantage of darkness, the smugglers managed to flee.

Confirming the seizure, Divisional Forest Officer Langate range Mohmmad Ayoub Pandit told Kashmir Images that a vehicle has been seized and illicit timber recovered.

“Despite law and order problem, we managed to intercept the vehicle during the night and shifted it to forest division,” he added.

Pertinently, officials of forest department seized a (Tipper) loaded with fresh illegal timber in Rafiabad last Tuesday.

An official said that acting on specific information, a team of officials led by forest range officer Rafiabad Abdul Qayoom seized a Tipper bearing registration number JK02G/5722 loaded with fresh Deodar timber at Lasar crossing.

The officials said that cases have been registered and further investigation is going on in this regard. Meanwhile, sources said that a forest official was injured in an attack by timber smugglers in Bumhama forests falling under Kamraj Forest Division range Kupwara.

The smugglers attacked the forest official with a sharp-edged weapon and managed to escape from the spot.The injured official has been identified as Ghulam Rasool Mir.

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