Forest department land in Baikunthapur freed from ‘encroachment’
Foresters of Baikunthapur forest division on Friday re-acquired a parcel of government land from alleged encroachers.
Sources said that the land mafia had encroached upon a 0.6 hectare plot of the forest department at Farabari-Nepalibusty of Jalpaiguri district.
“The land was sold and a two-storey building came up on a part of it. We demolished the building that illegally came up on our land and reassumed the plot,” said a forest official. “Two months back, a notice was served to the house owner, but no steps were taken from his end.”
An excavator demolished the building in the presence of forest guards from Dabgram, Sarugara, Apalchand and Targhera forest range offices.
In some areas of north Bengal, especially near Siliguri, there are allegations that organised rackets are grabbing land of various government departments and agencies by forging documents, and selling them.
“We are conducting an extensive survey to find out if all the land owned by our department is vacant or encroached,” said the forester.
A team of the Ghoshpukur forest range of Kurseong forest division, in a joint operation with Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), seized two elephant tusks at Kharibari in Siliguri sub-division late on Thursday evening.
Three persons — Asit Oraon, Punilal Nagasia and Anil Oraon are from Matigara near Siliguri — were arrested.
Bhupen Biswakarma, additional divisional forest officer of Kurseong, said they acted on a tip-off to nab a pickup van at Kharibari and found the tusks in it. The trio allegedly planned to smuggle the tusks to Nepal.
Bablu Oraon, 30, of Saraswatipur tea estate of Jalpaiguri, was trampled to death by an elephant on Thursday evening while he was returning home from a paddy field.