Kahuta forest officials shun duties to protest timber mafia


Forest officials in Kahuta have refused to work after the police failed to arrest members of an alleged timber mafia, who had grievously attacked a forest guard when he attempted to intercept a truck loaded with smuggled forest wood.

The forest department had lodged a case in the Kahuta Police Station against members of the timber mafia, however, the police have shown reluctance to arrest the persons involved in attacking and smuggling forest wood.

According to forest officials, after the incident, a three-member committee of the forest department headed by District Forest Officer Iftikharul Hassan Farooqi had also met with the Rawalpindi City Police Officer, who had assured them that the alleged smugglers would be caught immediately, however, no action has been taken against them.

“The local police have not taken any action against the culprits so far,” said a forest official while wishing not to be named as he was resting on his chair. He added that they will continue to protest unless the culprits were arrested. “We perform our duty while putting our lives at stake, while the smugglers roam scot-free,” he said while alluding to the persons who had attacked the forest guard.

The forest officials said that they will only start working once the culprits were arrested by the police.

When contacted, a senior police official claimed that several raids have been conducted to arrest the alleged attackers, however, they have gone into hiding. “They will be arrested soon,” he claimed.