FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, April 12: The Civil Society Women’s Organization has alleged that there is rampant felling of trees at Upper Klew, Ri Bhoi district.
“The villagers of Upper Klew, Ri Bhoi District, have reported rampant felling of trees in those areas disregarding the environment and destruction of water bodies and forest land of the locals there,” CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing said.
According to Kharshiing, on inspection the CSWO found that saw mills at Mawblang village, falling under Raid Kyrdem Ri Bhoi District and also many along those areas, and logs all along the road leading to Upper Klew.
Kharshiing said that the CSWO had earlier filed an FIR for illegal felling of trees forest Land in the Khapmara police outpost and police instead registered the case under sec 107 CrPC which denotes where persons are likely to commit a breach of peace.
“How can village people who are reporting illegal felling of trees resort to breach of peace? This is a clear misrepresentation of facts and not what the FIR contains.” the CSWO president said.
Kharshiing also alleged that despite of talk of climate change and concern about deforestation by the state government and planting of trees, the government machinery do not work in convergence to protect such forests.
She alleged that when complaints are made to the police they send the complaints to a Forest official or the Syiem.
“How can a common man know where to go when he wants to make a complaint and it is always the Police station that they first go to? The Government should see that these Police stations/ Outposts, converge with all authorities and make the report based on the First Information Report (FIR) and inform them of the unlawful activities,” she said.
Meanwhile, the CSWO urged the government to direct the police to not turn complaints away or mislead in the investigation and to make proper report based on the complaints mentioned in the FIR.
The CSWO has also urged the Autonomous District Councils and the Forest department to clamp down on the illegal felling of trees and work in tandem with police when reports are made in the better interest of protection of the state’s resources.