The Betasing unit of the A’chik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM) intercepted a vehicle that was allegedly smuggling timber near the border town of Mahendraganj.
The vehicle (ML 08 G 2677) and its contents were then handed over to the Range Forest Office of Mahendraganj in South West Garo Hills district.
The pressure group, through a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner of SWGH, has sought stringent action against the illegal actors as well as more vigilance in the district to stop such random acts of deforestation.
“On November 24, at about 9pm, we found one pickup truck that was illegally transporting logs while we were returning from Tura. This happened near the village of Bollongitok and when they saw us they tried to escape. However, we were lucky and were able to detain them before handing them over to the RFO Mahendraganj for further action,” said AHAM unit president, Sairill D Marak.
The NGO alleged that timber smuggling is rampant in the area, mainly through the Mellim-Bollongitok-Rangsakona route. The timber generally ends up in Assam, which is close to the areas mentioned.
While AHAM was able to detain the vehicle, the occupants managed to flee from the scene.
“Such rampant illegal acts will have long term effects on our environment and the department concerned need to be extra vigilant to stop such acts from taking place. Timber smuggling is not only a menace but a disaster waiting to happen,” added Wester G Sangma, another AHAM member.