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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 25 June 2024 2.21 AM IST

Sugandhagiri tree felling: Range officer suspended; explanation sought from two

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kalpatta Range Officer K Neetu has been suspended regarding the controversial tree felling incident in Sugandhagiri, Wayanad. An explanation was sought from South Wayanad Divisional Forest Officer A Sajna and Flying Squad Range Officer K Sajevan. The action was taken by Pramod G Krishnan, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Administrative Section) on the recommendation of the Additional Principal Chief Forest Conservator, Vigilance Section. The Northern Region has directed the CCF to take action against other officials who failed in duty.

Forest section officer KK Chandran, beat officers Saji Prasad, and MK Vinod Kumar and watchers Johnson and Balan were earlier suspended in the incident. It is also suggested that they should be added to the list of accused in the case.

The vigilance team of the forest department had found 18 persons, including the DFO and a range officer, guilty of illegally cutting 126 trees under the guise of a permit issued to cut 20 trees that were threatening houses in a tribal colony in Sugandhagiri.

The vigilance report pointed out that the range officer had committed serious misconduct in granting a pass for cutting trees without conducting an inspection, filing a case late despite knowing that a crime was taking place, and not properly investigating the case. Based on this, Minister MK Saseendran had directed the Additional chief secretary of the Forest Department to take immediate disciplinary action against all 18 officials.

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