Tree felling in heart of city right under the nose of authorities

An incident where trees were felled in broad daylight in the heart of the city, has caught the Forest and Police department unawares.

However, following complaints by the residents of Gokulam, where the incident took place, personnel of the departments swung into action and took two persons into custody, while one succeeded in fleeing from the spot.

Naganna, a resident of Sampinahosahalli, Srirangapatna taluk, Mandya district and Shankar, resident of Belagola in Srirangapatna taluk have been nabbed. Another person, Raju, resident of Sampinahosahalli, Srirangapatna taluk is absconding.

Forest department has confiscated a tractor, which was used to transport the felled trees and the mechanical saw, apart from other tools used by the gang from the spot. Logs found in the tractor were also confiscated. The department personnel have continued their investigation to trace logs of other trees, which might have been transported to timber mills in the region.

The accused were taken into custody, following complaints of residents of the locality. The residents, who had seen the group felling trees during the day on Friday, grew suspicious when felling was continued during the night and informed the police.
The trees were felled right in front of some residences. Gulmohar, Jacaranda, Mahagony, Indian Cork Tree and Pongamia were felled.

Residents’ plaint

Puttaraju, Range Forest Officer said that residents had complained to Jayalakshmipuram police about the felling incident, following which Police and Forest department personnel visited the spot. The trio were found felling trees during the visit, and the personnel succeeded in nabbing the two. However, one person fled from the spot.

The accused are learnt to have felled eleven trees during the past few days using a mechanical saw, said Puttaraju.

V Karikalan, Deputy Conservator of Forests said that the accused has been booked under Section 33 (illegal felling) and 50 (illegal transport) of Karnataka Forests Act and Section 64 (illegal felling) and 71(A) (trees felled on government property) of Karnataka Forest Rules Act.

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