A heavy exchange of fire took place between forest personnel and timber smuggler at Hakunguri beat under Joypur range in Dehing Patkai National Park in Dibrugarh on Tuesday night.
According to sources, a Forest patrolling party has been patrolling in the area when they heard sounds of machines used for cutting trees. They reached the spot to verify but on seeing them, the timber smugglers fired on them, and in reply, the forest staff fired at the timber smugglers.
Confirming the incident, Dibrugarh Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), BV Sandeep said on Tuesday night an encounter took place between forest officials and timber smugglers.
“Our forest patrolling party heard the sound of saw machines cutting trees. They reached the spot to verify the incident and as a result, an encounter started between forest personnel and timber smugglers. They fled from the spot. We have seized one machine used for cutting trees,” said DFO.
He said, “this year, this was the fourth incident reported from the area. Our forest staffs are ready to give befitting reply to the timber smugglers,”.
“Illegal logging has been going on in Dehing Patkai National Park. Every day, the timber smugglers are slashing trees in the forest area. Many timber mills has been mushrooming in the Arunachal Pradesh area and the timber smugglers use elephants and small trucks to transport the trees from the forest after cutting them,” said a source.
Last year, an encounter that took place between security personnel and timber smugglers in the Dehing Patkai National Park in upper Assam resulted in the death of an elephant. The elephant was hit by a bullet in the crossfire.
After this incident, it has been exposed that the timber smugglers are using elephants to transport timbers from the forest.