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Forest impasse ends

Alipurduar, Feb. 12: Congress leaders today unlocked the beat and range offices in Buxa Tiger Reserve (west), which had been shut down since Sunday to protest against the death of Shyamul Rava.

The 19-year-old cowherd was killed in the Poro beat when forest guards fired 12-bore cartridges at him from a double-barrel gun, suspecting him to be a timber smuggler.

The Congress move followed after A.P. Singh, the deputy field director of BTR (west), visited Shyamul’s parents and assured them of help. The Congress leaders also handed over to Singh a five-point charter of demands, including a job for Shyamul’s father.

Earlier in the day, Mohon Sharma, the president of the Kalchini Block Congress, along with the villagers of Uttar Poro, demonstrated in front of the office of the Damanpur (west) range, which covers the Poro beat.

Manohar Tirki, the PWD minister of state, said the additional district magistrate of Alipurduar has asked the police to start a case on the basis of the FIR lodged by Shyamul’s parents. The double-barrel gun from which the pellets were fired has been seized. Singh said departmental inquiry has been initiated.

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