TURA | OCT 31, 2019:
Yet again, an MDC from Garo Hills landed himself into fresh trouble after he allegedly threatened the employees of the GHADC forest department on Oct 30.
The incident took place on Wednesday where an MDC of Balachanda, Garo Hills, Sofiur Rehman, had allegedly stopped and threatened the forest department employees as they were conducting a raid on Wednesday morning.
Rehman has been in the limelight earlier too for all the wrong reasons angering various sections of Garo Hills.
The unprecedented interference comes at a time when the GHADC forest department has been shoring up its image by cracking down on illegal timber mills in the plain belt of West Garo Hills (WGH).
According to a department source, a raid was conducted at the village of Phersakandi near New Bhaitbari under Phulbari PS by the GHADC with the support of local police from the Phulbari PS and Rajabala. The raid took place at about 8 am this morning.
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"We dismantled one of the illegal saw mills and we in the process of confiscating the machines and logs present. However while we were doing so, the Balachanda MDC came to the place with a huge group of villagers who were all vociferous and threatening," said a GHADC forest department personnel on the condition of anonymity.
The MDC initially asked the department as to who gave them permission to raid but when the document was produced, in front of the entire mob he said that the department needed his permission to come to the village!
Further he threatened all the employees conducting the raid stating that he would get them all transferred.
"As an MDC of GHADC, we expected him to be supportive to what we were trying to do but it seems he wants to protect the interests of criminals. We are only doing our duty and will continue doing so despite his threats," added the forest personnel.
The GHADC party had to back track in fear of their lives due the mob swelling well past controllable levels. The villagers had even put up blocks on the roads to impede the movement of the
"We could not finish our work and had to beat a hasty retreat as the mob swelled. Thankfully the police party was able to cover our return," they added.
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The matter was later informed to the CFO, GHADC Forest seeking action in the matter with a meeting expected to take place on the matter by the GHADC. A FIR in the matter is also being contemplated by the forest authorities.
"He and his brother were the leaders of the mob and threatened all of us. The matter is very serious in nature and we will look to raise this with our authorities. Threatening employees of the GHADC, of which he is a part, is absolutely unbecoming of an MDC," said the foresters.
Interestingly Rehman is also the vice chairman of state forest in the present government. He was also the chairman of forests for the GHADC before being ousted through pressure from NGOs.
"He does not deserve to be a part of any forest department. Being an elected representative he does not understand his duty and sided with people who are destroying what he was supposed to help protect. The state has to immediately remove him from his position. His interference in the matter is insane and a slap to people trying to protect the environment. He has no moral right to continue," said a local resident of New Bhaitbari, seeking anonymity.