Bandipora Sep 1, CNS: Forest employees in Sopore Range Tuesday staged a protest against the ‘unruly’ behavior of Divisional Forest Officer Bandipora who allegedly manhandled and abused a Forest Officer in presence of scores of officials and employees of the department during working hours.
The protesting employees alleged that DFO Bandipora Irfan Rasool manhandled and abused a Forest Officer Muhammad Akbar Parray without any provocation at Mukhdamyari Hajin belt of Sonawari tehsil. “We were following the directions from Chief Conservator who had ordered clear felling of hollow willow trees. The DFO along with a team of officials visited the spot and for unknown reasons started arguing with the Forest Officer. The DFO scolded some labourers too blaming them for working at a snail’s pace. When the Forest Officer objected, the DFO hit him with a stick and not only manhandled him but also hurled choicest abuses on him,” said a group of Forest employees.
A forest guard Abdul Rehman Mir who was witness to the incident blamed DFO for the mess. “How can a few labourers cut hundreds of hollow trees within a day. They are humans not beasts,” he said adding that if government failed to initiate any action against the DFO, the employees will took to streets and will stage protests against the ‘erring’ DFO on daily basis.
When contacted DFO Bandipora alleged that he was furious to see some green willows on ground. “They are all culprits and they had been cutting green willows to sell them in black market,” he said.
Forest Minister Bali Bhagat said that he has already taken cognizance of the case. “An officer has no right to abuse and manhandle any employee. I will look into the matter,” he said adding that action will be initiated against the guilty. (CNS)