Vehicle with smuggled Chinar timber seized in Sonamarg

'Vehicle with smuggled Chinar timber seized in Sonamarg'

The Forest Department and the Forest Protection Force (FPF) seized a vehicle carrying a substantial quantity of illegal Chinar timber in the Ganderbal District of Central Kashmir on Wednesday. Officials stated that a team led by Assistant Director of Forest Protection Force Ganderbal, Mohammad Yousuf Magray, and RO Sindh Mohammad Ashraf, intercepted a truck bearing registration number JK22A 9623. The vehicle, en route from Ganderbal to Ladakh, was found carrying 316 cubic feet (CFT) of illicit Chinar timber when stopped at Sonamarg. Both the timber and the truck were seized and taken to the Forest Division Ganderbal. Environmentalists and social workers in Ganderbal have raised concerns, alleging that forest officials in the district are complicit in facilitating timber smuggling and the unauthorized felling of Chinar trees. They argue that such extensive smuggling operations are unlikely to occur without the involvement of forest officials, calling for a high-level inquiry into the matter. In response, Assistant Director Forest Protection Force Ganderbal Ahmad assured the public of the department’s commitment to apprehending timber smugglers. He mentioned that an ongoing investigation aims to uncover those responsible and promised strict action against anyone found guilty of involvement in timber smuggling. Magray urged the general public to report any information about timber smuggling activities, emphasizing the need for community cooperation to bring perpetrators to justice.