A car carrying “illegal” timber was burnt down by an angry mob near Rongjeng Reserve in East Garo Hills.
Climate change has been adversely affecting Rongjeng in recent times with hailstorms leaving a trail of destruction in the area.
The mob got doubly furious as “illegal” timbers mean felling of trees which, in turn, affects the environment.
Reports stated that the villagers saw a vehicle moving around suspiciously near the Rongjeng Reserve. Irate villagers asked the vehicle bearing the registration No – ML 05B 8983 – to stop.
“They were bringing timber from the Dambo Rongjeng Reserve in a Maruti 800, specially modified for this purpose. Upon seeing the angry crowd, the driver ran for his dear life. Angry, unidentified villagers then burnt the car with the timber inside,” said a local requesting anonymity.
The local people of the area are “pretty pissed off” with this illegal smuggling of timber going on merrily and have questioned why the powers that be and Forest Department authorities are playing the role of “mute spectators”.
“If the villagers can catch these criminals, then why can’t the authorities meant to protect our forests do so? Climate change is staring us in the face and these people are still turning a blind eye. This is despicable to say the least,” said one CG Momin of Rongjeng.
The SP of East Garo Hills, Ringrang TG Momin, said, “We are investigating into the whole matter. No one, including the owner of the vehicle, has come forward with a complaint. We were informed by the forest patrolling party. The car was carrying four beams of timber.”