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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 18 May 2024 7.02 PM IST

Sugandhagiri tree felling case: DFO's suspension will be frozen, Forest Minister gives direction

tree-felling

KOZHIKODE: Forest Minister AK Saseendran has given directions to freeze the suspension of Wayanad South DFO A Shajana in the incident where 126 trees were felled and smuggled from the Sugandhagiri forest land. The minister directed that further action should be taken only after seeking an explanation from the DFO. Earlier, the DFO was suspended based on the finding of the forest vigilance that the lack of vigilance of the DFO led to the tree felling.

South Wayanad Division Forest Officer Shajana, Kalpetta Flying Squad Range Officer M Sajeevan and Grade Deputy Beerankutty were suspended in connection with the incident. With this, the number of forest department employees who were suspended in the incident rose to nine. Kalpetta Range Officer K Neethu was suspended the other day. The other suspended officials are Forest Section Officer KK Chandran, Beat Officers Saji Prasad, MK Vinod Kumar, Watchers Johnson and Balan. A high-level investigation report had come out stating that 18 forest officials, including a divisional forest officer and two range officers, were guilty in the case.

Forest Minister AK Saseendran had given directions to the Forest Department Additional Chief Secretary to take urgent action against these officials. The report stated that forest watcher R Johnson had taken a bribe of Rs 52,000 from the accused and that it was the forest department staff who showed the trees to be cut to the contractor.

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TAGS: SUGANDHAGIRI FOREST, TREE FELLING CASE, DFO, SUSPENSION, FOREST DEPARTMENT
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