’20 ton timber illegally transported to Gujarat seized’
Udaipur : Timber smugglers ran their truck over two forest guards while trying to escape a checkpost at Sultan ki Kherwada village under Jhadol Phalasiya range of Udaipur district on Tuesday night. The guards had a narrow escape as they got caught under the vehicle when the front tyres moved, however luckily, they managed to crawl out as the heavy vehicle could not pick speed on the uphill path ahead of a curve. The incident has come as a shock for the department since these kinds of attacks are unheard in this area. ” Some fifteen years ago, bamboo smugglers in Devla Kotra block tried to run over the forest vehicle but they were caught. These kinds of incidents are very rare in this area, we have asked our staff to be careful” Rajkumar Jain, Regional Conservator of Forests told Udaipur Kiran.
The forest department had issued a red alert in the division to prevent timber smuggling and wildlife offenses and increased night patrolling in the region. ” We were tipped off about illegal transport of wood from the forest range to Gujarat and hence a checkpost was laid at the outskirts of Sultan ki Kherwada village on Tuesday night. Around 10.30 pm a truck approached and when we tried to stop it, they fled” Range officer Shantilal Parmar said. The forest team chased the truck and two guards Virendra Singh Jhala and Munim Meena who were on bikes got ahead of the vehicle.
They stopped their bikes and signalled the driver to stop but the latter hit the bikes and the guards fell down while the truck ran over them. Since the vehicle couldnt not pick speed on the uphill road, the driver and his aide left the truck and vanished in the darkness. The guards were taken to hospital where one of them had fractured his hand. DFO Ajay Chittora said the truck was laden with approximately 20 ton of mango wood which is worth around 1.5-2 lakh rupees. Two cases have been registered, one by the police department for attempt to murder and smuggling while the forest department has charged a case under sections 41 & 42 of the Forest Act.