Timber mafia exposed in GB, must protect environment

Eight suspects have been arrested and timber worth billions of rupees seized during an operation against illegal logging in forest of Chakkarkot area of Jaglot in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).

Contingents of G-B Scouts backed by Rangers and police had cordoned off the Chakkarkot Forest exit points to catch the timber thieves.

Official sources said the G-B government has become more sensitive towards cutting forests after relentless logging has led to adverse climate change impact in the region.

The sources said that G-B Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz had taken notice of pictures of illegally cut trees from the forests of Chakkarkot in Jaglot posted on social media. He took approval from G-B Chief Minister Hafizur Rehman for initiating an operation against timber theft.

Soon after receiving approval, contingents of police, Rangers and GB Scouts cordoned off the forests of Jaglot and sealed all the exit points. The sources said that the seized wood, worth over billions of rupees, would be put up for an open auction in Jaglot.

During the operation, so far eight suspects were taken into custody whereas some of their accomplices managed to flee.

During the initial phase of the operation, illegal wood loaded on vehicles would be seized while in the next phase the wood, hidden in dried up nullahs and forest edges will be recovered and shifted to Jaglot for auction.

The forces were also deployed at all the entry points of forests of Jaglot to thwart the entry of timber thieves.

Article Source: The Express Tribune

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