Seized khayar let off without inspection

- RAJKUMAR KARKI, SINDHULI

Sep 24, 2014-

The District Forest Office (DFO) has let off two trucks laden with ‘Khayar’ (Acacia catechu) logs handed over to them by the police on Tuesday without inspection.

Meanwhile, justifying their move, the DFO claimed that they had let off the trucks without investigation following a “collective decision taken by the local stakeholders”.  The police had intercepted the trucks bearing number plates Na 4 Kha 8499 and Na 4 Kha 8681on Saturday night at Majhitar, Kamalamai municipality-7. The trucks were laden with 714 cubic feet of ‘khayar’ logs sawed at Sheetalpati VDC.

The DFO had reportedly assigned Assistant Forest Officer Ram Ekwal Jaiswal to break the police seal and investigate the case. For his part, Jaiswal corresponded to District Administration Office, district political parties, District Police, Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), among others, to send their representatives to be present for inspection on Sunday. However, Jaiswal claimed that the trucks were let off after the meeting of the aforementioned local stakeholders concluded that the seal of the trucks should be instead broken and inspected at their pre-designated destination.

According to the DFO, the participants of the meeting included Acting District Forest Officer Roop Narayan Jha, Chairperson of Nepal Forest Products Entrepreneurs Association Om Bikram Khatri including district representatives of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoists and FNJ Sindhuli.   Meanwhile, CPN-Maoist leader Subas Rayamajhi said that the tendency of the DFO to call upon the representatives for inspection and let go off the trucks without inspecting them had raised suspicion of foul play. Stating that their party did not agree to the decision, Rayamajhi demanded prompt investigation into the matter and punishment to the guilty.

In the meantime, Jaiswal said that he had already submitted his report clearly stating the decision of the stakeholders to the DFO. Likewise, Acting DFO Jha said that they had already corresponded to the Sunsari DFO for “appropriate action”.

Similarly, Contractor Ram Bogati said that the police had put them through unnecessary hassle even though they had been transporting ‘khayar’ following proper procedure. 

Published: 25-09-2014 09:22

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