The Forest Department has suspended 12 people, including 3 foresters, over allegations of smuggling Sundari timber from the Sundarbans East Zone.
The allegations include felling and smuggling of Sundari timber under the guise of Golpata, a type of palm tree foraged with permission from the FD, from Swarankhola range and smuggling of about 1,000 cubic foot Sundari timber from the Jongra patrolling camp of Chandpai range.
Khulna Circle Conservator (CF) of Forests Md Amir Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune on Monday that they had temporarily suspended the 12 over the allegations.
The suspended are Forester Abdur Rouf of Jongra camp under Chandpai range, Forest Guard Bidhan Chandra Haldar, Ali Ahammad, boatman Sultan Hawladar, Forester Amzad Hossain of Golpata Kup (Zone) under Swarankhola range, Forester Mobarak Hossain of Dhansagar camp under Swarankhola range, Forest Guard Harun-ur-Rashid, Abdul Awal, Md Badshah Sheikh, Abdur Rashid Shikdar, boatman Selim Sarder and Nurul Islam.
CF Amir said they had received allegations against 15 people on April 15 and formed two separate committees, one headed by Khulna Circle Deputy Conservator of Forests Bashirul Mamun and the other by Swarankhola Range Assistant Conservator of Forests Mohammad Hossain, to probe the incidents.
Both of the committees submitted their reports on May 4, mentioning that charges against 12 of the 15 accused were found to be true.
The accused officials have been withdrawn from their respective workstations, said the Khulna Circle CF, adding that divisional steps would be taken against them.