Tura(Meghalaya), June 23: Showing the limits that smugglers use to smuggle timber from the Garo Hills region, policemen from the Wageasi outpost in North Garo Hills caught a dumper while it was bringing timber illegally apparently from Rongmil area in East Garo Hills.
The incident took place at about 12:40 AM this morning.
As per reports, the illegal timber truck was on its way from EGH when it was stopped by the police check post at Wageasi.
“We became suspicious of the truck as we don’t expect PWD trucks to be moving so late in the night or early morning. When the vehicle was stopped and our personnel began their check, the two people inside, the driver and the handy man made a run for it. We later found a huge amount of high value timber (Sal and teak) within the truck,” said a highly placed police source from NGH.
The timber truck was later handed over to the forest department at the Dainadubi Range Office and an FIR lodged on the matter.
“The truck was not a PWD truck as otherwise the occupants (driver and handyman) would not have run away leaving the truck. An investigation into the matter is currently underway,” said DFO, Sathish Kumar.
Forest personnel added that the use of the PWD tag on the truck may have been done to avert suspicion and the truck (registration – AS – 18C 7334) is possibly being employed by a private contractor.
Meanwhile local NGO, Dainadubi Youth Circle Organization (DCYO) has sought a thorough investigation into the matter.
“These things are happening too regularly and our forests are being ravaged by some unscrupulous criminals. We condemn this incident and demand that a complete investigation be taken up to find out the people behind this smuggling nexus. Enough is enough,” said DCYO president, Gilsrang D Shira.
Garo Hills has been badly affected by continuous cases of forest depletion due to smuggling by criminal elements. While various forest reserves have been attacked on a regular basis, forests under the care of the GHADC, including private lands, have been worse affected.