BISWANATH CHARIALI, Dec 12 - Protesting gross irregularities in the felling of trees by the Forest Department personnel, under East Sonitpur Forest Division for the four laning works of the National Highway 15, thousands of local people under the leadership of Behali AASU, AJYCP, Aamri Karbi Students� Union, Chatra Mukti Sngram Samiti, Uddipta Chora etc., blocked the highway for around three hours at Kulaguri, Bedeti under Behali Police Station on Thursday.
It may be mentioned here that thousands of trees have been felled in the last few days in the name of widening and four laning of the National Highway 15 from the Jiyabharali river to Howajan under the East Sonitpur Forest Division. Though the logs of the various species of valuable trees have been stored at the specified depots by the Forest department, yet the remaining parts of the felled trees are being allegedly sold secretly by some miscreants to private parties. Local people allege that the �sellers� charge anything from Rs 500 to 1000 per vehicle without any valid challan or TP. One firewood-laden vehicle was also handed over to the police by the people on December 5. When the same type of incident had taken place the day before, people got agitated and sought clarification from the Forest personnel present at the spot, but they allegedly failed to give any suitable answer to the agitated people. Two firewood-laden trucks � AS14 A 6771 and AS 12 AC 1191 were also sby public. This incident led to the road blockade.
Later, the BDO Behali Homeswar Doley, ACF of East Sonitpur Forest Division PK Verma and O/c of Behali PS, Manoranjan Gogoi arrived at the spot and pacified the angry mob. The Biswanath SDO (C) also talked to them over the telephone and assured to initiate an investigation into the matter. The public then handed over the two trucks to the police.