Player exposes illegal felling of trees

Published: 27th October 2012 12:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2012 12:58 PM   |  A+A-

State-level football and rugby player Subhalaxmi Barik on Friday accused her superiors at the Bhasma Hitech Nursery in Sambalpur of harassment for exposing the latter’s involvement in illegal felling of trees.

Barik, who is posted as a forest guard at the nursery run by the Forest Department, alleged that her seniors began to intimidate her after she filmed them felling valuable trees at the nursery and reported the matter to the higher authorities.

“They threatened me with dire consequences if I did not hand them over the video that I had shot,” Barik told a media conference here on Friday. She said the locals living around the nursery had informed her about the ongoing illegal activities. She also played the video footage at the press conference to back her claims.

She produced documents which mentioned that a forest guard, Ratnakar Singh, accompanied by a few others used to cut trees and sell them. Following threats from the seniors, Barik has been desperately trying for a transfer from the Sambalpur Forest Range but to no avail.

“I have not been able to return to my range for fear of ill treatment. I hope to get a transfer soon,” said Barik.

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