From a Correspondent
MARGHERITA, January 31: Upper Dehing Forest Reserve of Digboi Forest Division under Tinsukia has more or less depleted as precious trees are being allegedly chopped illegally by timber smugglers every day. Senior forest department officials allegedly receive a lot of commission from these timber smugglers.
Animals such elephants, leopard, deer, monkeys and wild pigs stray out from Upper Division Forest Reserve in search of food as trees have become less. On Saturday night, a herd of wild elephants created havoc and destroyed more than eight houses at Ahom Pather and 3 Number Rampur of Jagun under Kotha Forest Reserve of Margherita Subdivision. Local people came out in large numbers and shouted various slogans against the State Forest Minister and Margherita Forest Department officials. Kotha Forest Reserve is a rain forest once famous for valuable trees but today the trees are found no more because of rampant timber smuggling.
Local people of Ahom Pather and 3 Number Rampur said that they had urged the Lekhapani forest range officials to take serious steps against wild elephants but in vain. On Saturday night, at Segunbari area in Margherita some miscreants allegedly gave poisonous food to 20 monkeys and my birds due to which three monkeys and 10 my birds died. This incident has shocked the animal lovers of Margherita who have demanded strict action against the culprits.