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Students of Maharaja's College in Ernakulam foil bid to smuggle timber out

The SFI activists were preparing for a students' protest scheduled on Monday when they saw the workers loading the timber on a lorry.

Published: 11th October 2021 03:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th October 2021 03:57 AM   |  A+A-

SFI activists prevent the attempt to smuggle felled trees  out of the Maharaja’s College campus in Ernakulam

SFI activists prevent the attempt to smuggle felled trees  out of the Maharaja’s College campus in Ernakulam. (Photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Students Federation of India (SFI) members of the Maharaja's College in Ernakulam on Sunday foiled an attempt by some people to allegedly smuggle felled trees out of the campus. The student activists alleged that the trees were being carried into a lorry without permission. 

"Trees near the college's library area were posing a threat to the Kerala Water Authority building and permission was accorded to cut them down. One tree was felled a year ago, but no permission was granted to take the timber outside the campus," said Akhil Pushpan, SFI unit secretary.

The SFI activists were preparing for a students' protest scheduled on Monday when they saw the workers loading the timber on a lorry. "When we asked them to show the permission letter, the lorry driver said the principal had sanctioned it," Akhil said.  

However, the principal of the college, Mathew George, said he had not provided any such permission. "The tree was felled over a year ago and has been lying there since. I did not grant anyone permission to remove the timber from the campus. As soon as I received information about the incident, I alerted the police," he said.

In fact, besides the principal, permission from the Social Forestry department is required to cut down any tree on the college campus. "A tender process needs to be completed and only then will permission be given to remove trees. None of this was done in this case," said Akhil.



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