MANDYA: Mandya District Deputy Conservator of Forests Prakash S Netalkar has written to his higher-ups seeking action against 13 men, including forest officers and staff, for aiding red sandalwood smugglers.
The accused are three zonal forest officers, four range forest officers, three forest guards and three forest watchers.
Between 2010 and 2014, 23 cases of red sandalwood smuggling were reported from the forest area in Mandya district.
Forest officers recovered 1,875 kg of sandalwood and 530 kg of wood. During investigation, it was found that some forest officers and staff were helping the smugglers.
Based on the report, the DCF has sought action against the officers and staff.
The DCF, who was suspicious about the officers’ involvement in smuggling, took up tree survey in the forest.
The forest staff identified more than 600 red sandalwood trees in the forest and mounted number plaques on each tree for identification.
Netalkar also intensified day-night patrolling in the forest area in a bid to check smuggling.
He claimed that these various measures had yielded positive result: no smuggling incident has been reported in the past one year.