NORTH LAKHIMPUR, March 4 - A team of forest personnel were attacked while they were in the process of seizing timber collected from illegally-felled trees in a depot here on Friday.
The incident took place in a timber depot of one Bhabit Saikia at Charaimoria on the eastern suburbs of North Lakhimpur when a team of Lakhimpur Forest Division personnel conducted a raid to recover the illegal timber which was worth approximately Rs 25,000.
As the forest personnel entered the timber depot, some workers inside the depot attacked them. The attackers injured Deepak Sonar, Forest Department labour and Banjeet Ram, a forest officer. Later, the forest officials were rescued by the police. A case has been lodged against the owner of the timber depot by the Lakhimpur Forest Department.
It may be recalled that largescale tree felling has been on in Lakhimpur district, particularly along the Subansiri by illegal timber traders. Exotic simolu trees have been felled by these illicit traders during its full blooming season, thereby causing environmental degradation in the riverine areas, which are always prone to erosion. The felling of simolu trees also has a detrimental effect on the habitation of the Greater Adjutant Stork (Leptoptilos dubius) which are on the verge of extinction.