From A Correspondent
Tura, Sept 15: Alert villagers of Chiading in East Garo Hills on Friday morning caught three vehicles loaded with illegal timber logs about a km away from Chiading police station even as the police station was deserted.
Forest department sources said the illegal timber logs were bound for Assam and the vehicles were travelling on the highway at about 1 am when they were caught. Unfortutely due to lack of police personnel, all the people involved in the transportation of timber were able to flee from the spot. The incident occurred just about 1 km away from the West Garo Hills border.
“We were aware of the movement of the trucks with timber from the Rongrengre Forest Reserve and that these were moving towards Assam and thus set up a watch. When we went to inform the Chiading police station about the matter, no policeman was there. After we maged to stop the vehicles, the occupants ran from the spot,” said one of the villagers on condition of anonymity.
The trucks were carrying high value timber, including sal, teak and the like, and had already crossed two forest check gates before being caught by the people, clearly indicating a nexus between a section of unscrupulous forest officials and timber smugglers.
When the matter was informed to East Garo Hills Superintendent of Police (SP) in-charge Ringrang TG Momin, he said an inquiry into the matter was being taken up. Sources later confirmed that the SP visited the police station to seek information. The vehicles seized were two trucks and a Tata Di, all of which were later handed over to the police for further action.