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Glare on hills timber mafia

Shillong, July 7: Questions have been raised as to how suspected timber “smugglers” could escape from those who are supposed to apprehend them in the Garo hills region.

Last month, members of the Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) of Rongram in West Garo Hills intercepted a truck loaded with smuggled timber.

“The timber was handed over to the authorities and it was found that the consignment was being smuggled from Samandagre in East Garo Hills to Dhubri district of Assam,” the president of the FKJGP Rongram unit, Chanchan D. Sangma, said in a statement.

He also questioned how the “smugglers” could manage to cross the Samanda forest checkgate and police outposts at Rongsak and Rongram.

According to the pressure group, despite the Supreme Court’s ban on inter-state transfer of timber of specific plant species such as sal and teak, felling of such trees is on the rise in different areas of Garo hills.

It is alleged that timber smugglers fell trees and smuggle timber after sunset.

The pressure group claims that following constant allegations from different corners, the FKJGP (Garo hills zone) has been monitoring the routes through which timber is smuggled.