Report indicts forest officer for colluding with tree-felling case accused

However, the forest department’s action against Sajan, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Kozhikode (Social Forestry), was limited to transferring him to Kollam. 

Published: 24th August 2021 06:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2021 06:18 AM   |  A+A-

Wood, Timber

Image used for representational purposes

By Express News Service

KALPETTA: The inquiry report by Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (APCCF) Rajesh Raveendran has indicted N T Sajan IFS for colluding with the accused in the Muttil tree-felling case to frame his subordinate officers. The report submitted to the Head of Forest Force on June 29 called for immediate disciplinary action against Sajan and to keep him away from duties in Northern Region to prevent him from tampering with evidence.

However, the forest department’s action against Sajan, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Kozhikode (Social Forestry), was limited to transferring him to Kollam. The APCCF initiated a probe into the four complaints he had received against Sajan from Chief Conservator of Forests (Northern Circle), Meppadi Range Forest Officer, Kerala Forest Rangers’ Association and Kerala State Timber Merchants Association. Sajan had also filed a complaint against CCF (Northern Circle). 

The 18-page report stated that Sajan purportedly raised the issue pertaining to the felling of rosewood trees at Manikkunnumala in Wayanad by colluding with the key accused in the Muttil tree-felling case -- Roji Augustine and Anto Augustine. “Sajan’s report that rosewood trees were felled illegally from forest land with the connivance of Meppadi range forest staff is baseless and prepared to serve vested interests,” says the report. 

The inquiry report confirmed the allegation that Sajan, along with the Augustine brothers, dusted off a false case (Manikkunnumala) to seek revenge against Meppadi range forest officers who caught Augustine brothers red-handed in Muttil tree-felling. The report also accused two TV journalists, who colluded with Sajan to cook up a false story at Manikkunnumala.

Opposition leader V D Satheesan has demanded to know the Dharmadom connection in the Muttil tree felling incident. Satheesan on Monday said the evidence coming out reveals the role of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the case, referring to the latter’s alleged decision to let the main forest official responsible for the large-scale tree felling despite the adverse department-level reports against him with a light punishment.

He alleged that the current Crime Branch probe is not foolproof. He was speaking to reporters at Chempazhanthy Sreenarayana Gurukulam. Satheesan rued the state government’s threat to book the forest officials who had taken bold steps in false cases. He demanded to know the nexus of the senior officials who have threatened the honest officers with the chief minister’s place of Dharmadom.


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