DIGBOI, March 4 - In a raid led by Ranjan Kumar Das, the DFO of Digboi Forest Division along with a number of his staff, two cane fellers were nabbed at Maiki-Ghat area in the interior part of Dehing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary on March 2.
The apprehended duo were later identified as Birsa Bhumij and Dinesh Bhumij of Saraipung area. They were caught red-handed while felling canes inside the core area of the forest.
Meanwhile, legal proceedings are being initiated against them as per the existing forest laws, informed DFO Das.
In the course of interrogation, Birsa and Dinesh are stated to have confessed that they were engaged in the felling of canes by one Pona Sonowal of Betoni village of Bhadoi Panchali area. According to wildlife scientists, the cane brakes are the most secure and comfortable habitat of the (royal Bengal) tigers and the other large cats.
Moreover, the cane shoots are a major source of sustenance for the wild elephants. The destruction of the cane-brakes of this rain forest will seriously jeopardise the big cat population and elephants residing inside the Dehing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary.
The incident has therefore sent alarm bells ringing as to the proper upkeep of the wide diversity of flora and fauna in the area. The conscious section of the local public have obviously expressed serious concern over the incident and demanded stringent steps to stop such depredations with immediate effect.