Arrest warrant issued against Khayar smugglers in Dhading

DHADING: An arrest warrant has been issued against those involved in the illegal felling of Acacia catechu (Khayar) trees in a community forest area of Tripurasundari Rural Municipality-3 in Dhading district, on Monday.

According to Jivanath Paudel, Chief of Division Forest Office (DFO), Dhading, the warrant was issued to investigate the Khayar felling case in Mata Jaleshwori Community Forest and to take appropriate action against them if proven guilty.

Wood contractors from Butwal had taken permission to cut the trees belonging to local Shiva Guwaju, however, they fell more than five dozens of Khayar trees inside the community forest taking advantage of the nationwide lockdown, claimed locals, adding that it was done in cohorts with the staffers of the Community Forest Consumers Committee.

After receiving the complaint from locals, Dhading DFO has seized 27 felled trees and 1,100 pieces of timber, and has kept them in the care of locals.

Two contractors involved in the case Minlal Saru and Guptalal Saru have fled and a search is on for them, added District Forest Officer Paudel.

Earlier, after the complaint from locals, a team from the DFO raided the forest area in Mulpani and seized 669 cubic feet of felled Khayar timbers from Dandekhola and Thulibesi community forests in Mulpani area.

However, no smugglers were found at the site. According to the ward chair, the catechu trees were felled without permission.

Assistant Forest Officer Loknath Lamsal who was assigned as the investigation officer in the case, said that an investigation into the case is underway and action will be taken on completion of the investigation.