DIGBOI, April 3: Based on a tip-off, a team of Doomdooma forest department and Doomdooma Police apprehended two swan timber-laden 16-wheeler trucks bearing registration numbers AS 0 GC 9629 and A 01 DD 3917 from Hansara petrol depot under Doomdooma Police Station in Tinsukia district falling within Dibrugarh Forest division, on Monday evening. The police apprehended two vehicle staff while the drivers of both the vehicles maged to escape. The local police after verification handed over the vehicles and the consignment to Dibrugarh Forest Department on Tuesday afternoon for further proceedings.
Ironically, the consignment transported from Aruchal’s Kharsang based M/s Jong Wood Industry after paying due inter-State levy, on its way at Jagun forest range was apprehended along the NH-37 route leading to Doomdooma-Kakopather-Sadiya and Aruchal’s msai and Lohit districts instead of Digboi-Tinsukia NH-38. The recovery of the suspected levy receipt book number 17996, Receipt No. 3 with footnote AGP-L(I) F.19 No 46/16-17dated 01.04.2018 from the possession of the apprehended vehicle staff on a different route speaks about the departmental anomalies being perpetrated in nexus with the timber smugglers of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts.
According to forest sources, the consignment belonged to an established local businessman of Doomdooma area who has been trading in timber from across the States of Assam and Aruchal. There is no denying the fact that a strong network of timber smugglers has been openly operating in the district under political patroge. The same Transit Pass and levy receipts are also allegedly used repeatedly by the smugglers to transport their products from Aruchal Pradesh to their destition, with the cooperation of rangers and DFOs of the forest department.
“The department will verify the consignment on various aspects of the alleged smuggling of the forest products and proceed accordingly as per the laid down forest provisions,” assured Dilip Deka, the Divisiol Forest Officer of Dibrugarh, adding that both the loaded vehicles were under the custody of Dibrugarh Forest department for investigation.
Meanwhile, on being asked, Khadim Jaman Jinh, the DFO of Doomdooma, said that after prelimiry police verification, the matter would be investigated thoroughly by Dibrugarh Forest. “I have alerted the officials and staff to be vigilant and work hard round-the-clock to ensure that no illegalities in respect of various forest products take place and to crack down upon the mece of inter-State timber smuggling with an iron fist,” he added.