Abid Hussain

ADC asks DFO Budgam to lodge FIR against ‘fake news producers’

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No unmarked trees felled/extracted, news published in print media is fake and frivolous, says enquiry report

Budgam, Sep 06: Dubbing the allegations of felling of illegal forest trees in Budgam as ‘fake and frivolous’, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) here has asked Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) to lodge an FIR against ‘fake news producers for maligning the government on the basis of false reports’.

The allegations reported in a section of media about the illegal cutting of forest trees in Laden and Buzgoo villages of Budgam district under the garb of laying of Jallandhar – Samba –Amargrah transmission line are ‘fake and frivolous’, says the 6-page enquiry report, which was submitted by ADC to Deputy Commissioner Budgam.

Earlier, Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai had directed the DCs of Baramulla and Budgam to enquire into the incidents of illegal felling in forest areas. Following which, DC Budgam, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar vide No: DCB/PS/-Enquiry/439-42 dated September 03, 2018 asked ADC to enquire into the matter and submit the report thereof.

The report reads, “No unmarked trees have been felled/extracted by the SFC either at Laden or at Buzgoo village as alleged in the Facebook posts/ news items. SFC conducts all its extraction process under the close supervision of their Forest Department.”

“The Facebook posts/news items published in print/electronic media is baseless, misleading and false and undermining the credibility of government institutions.”

“It is pertinent to mention that Laden and Buzgoo area against which the complaints have been raised for illegal cutting of trees includes the trees/poles marked for extraction through SFC. As per standing orders the extraction of trees are being carried out by the State Forest Corporation and illegal falling of trees does not arises,” it reads.

The ADC had sought detailed report from DFO and Divisional Manager State Forest Corporation Budgam. Both the officials later submitted the report vide letter No: DFO/PP/LB/937-43 dated September 04, 2018 and vide letter No: DM/SFC/PPW/1028/-32 dated September 04, 2018 respectively.

While talking to ‘Kashmir Images’ ADC, Khurshid Ahmad Shah said, “We have submitted enquiry report to DC, which DC forwarded to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir,” adding that Forest Department has to take further action against ‘fake news producers’.

Meanwhile, DFO, Mohammad Rafique said, “We have taken print-out of newspapers [Where news about illegal felling was published]. Accordingly, we will take action.”

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