North Dinajpur: Foresters seize Burma teak worth Rs 50 lakh
Foresters from the Raiganj division in North Dinajpur district have seized Burmese teak worth Rs 50 lakh that was allegedly being smuggled to Andhra Pradesh from the northeastern region.
Sources said that acting on a specific tip-off, the foresters tried to stop a truck purportedly laden with bamboo at Siliguri More on NH34 late Saturday evening.
“The driver tried to flee from the spot. We gave chase and intercepted the vehicle on the outskirts of the town,” said Kamal Sarkar, the DFO of Raiganj.
When the truck was searched at the forest’s Karnajhora office, teak was found hidden under the bamboo stock.
“The preliminary investigation suggests that the seized timber is Burmese teak and is estimated to cost Rs 50 lakh. The driver has been arrested and further investigations are on,” the forester said.
Burmese teak is mostly smuggled from Myanmar and the northeastern states to the rest of India as it is in huge demand for its quality and is more expensive than the general teak.
“Furniture made from Burmese teak is in high demand not just in India but also in West Asia,” said an official, who did not rule out the hand of an organised racket behind the latest development.
In the past few years, teak worth crores have been seized from the Siliguri corridor area.
Rail wagon delinks
Wagons of a good train delinked from the remaining wagons around 5.30pm at the Malancha Pally rail gate near Malda on Sunday.
Sources said that 12 wagons from a chain of 50 got delinked. Railway officials were tight-lipped about the incident but sources said the train carried on moving for some distance without the delinked wagons.
“Later, another engine was sent and the 12 delinked wagons were taken to Malda town station,” said a source.
Railway officials said train services were not hit by the incident.
Additional reporting by Soumya De Sarkar from Malda