Staffers suspended over timber smuggling row

PARASI: The District Forest Office Nawalparasi has suspended its four employees including an officer, for investigation, for their alleged involvement in clearing the forest. The office had initiated the investigation after the seizure of wood of sal trees worth Rs 200 million from Gaindakhal in Sunwal recently.

The local administration had taken the valuable timber under their control in collaboration with the representatives of the political parties while investigating the illegal felling of trees in proposed Madhuban community forest. According to the District Forest Office, action has been taken against its employees as the timber had been sold in collusion with the staffers. The suspended employees included assistant forest officer Dilliram Chapagain and forest guards Hair Prasad Banyan, Mahindra Rajbhar and Surendra Baniya.

The office also said arrest warrants have been issued against all the members of the proposed community forest for their alleged involvement in clearing the forest. Smuggling of timber had come to the light after a team led by the Chief District Officer toured the forest area.