Probe begins into felling of sandalwood trees


Forest officials and the police reached the cardamom estate at Balanpillai City, near Ramakkalmedu, on Saturday and started an inquiry into the felling of sandalwood trees there.

A petition was filed before the police and the Forest department (Kottayam division) section office by its owners on Friday. As per the petition filed by estate owners Rahul and his sister Rakhimol, many sandalwood trees were felled by smugglers from the estate that was inherited from their parents.

It was said that for the past four days workers were absent and when they returned on Friday, it was found that sandalwood trees were felled.

According to the Nedumkandam police, initial investigation found that eight sandalwood trees were felled. However, the smugglers could not move it out of the area. The trees felled were mature ones, they said.

A forest official of the Kumily range said the sandalwood felled were marked ones and an inquiry was initiated. No arrests had been so far, he said. 

Sandalwood trees grow naturally in private land bordering Tamil Nadu. The responsibility of protecting them rests with the owners of the land.

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