The Centre on Friday recognized the sacrifice of three forest martyrs from Assam for their contributions in safeguarding forest and wildlife in 2019-20.

The three martyrs including Nizamuddin Ahmed (Fix Pay Worker), Priyom Mech (Casual Driver) and Bikudar Bora (Game Watcher).

They are among 22 other martyrs from across the country who have been recognized for their sacrifice in 2019-20 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate (MoEFCC) change.

On the occasion of the 15th National Forest Martyrs Days, Minister for Forest and Environment Prakash Javadekar remembered and paid tribute to the martyrs who lost their lives while protecting our natural resources from forest fires, smugglers and mafias.

Expressing deep anguish about a forest staff who was killed by Sandalwood smugglers, Javadekar stated that amendments shall be made in regulations so that sandalwood can be cultivated more widely.

Giving a stern warning to the Sand Mafias, the Union Minister stated that the situation will be reviewed and those found involved in unlawful activities shall be punished.

The Union Minister stated that despite the new sustainable sand mining rules and regulations being passed, many states and regions are not abiding by the rules.

A forest home guard Kewal Singh was mowed down by a tractor when he along with his colleague tried to stop suspected members of a mining mafia inside the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar.

The Minister appealed to the state governments to take the issue of sand mining mafias seriously and impose strict laws to bring an end to the practice.

He said that sustainable sand mining must be practised so as to prevent the depletion of natural resources from river beds.

“In order to prevent the river beds from drying completely, sustainable sand mining must be practised and killings of foresters or revenue staff working towards the initiative of sustainable sand mining are completely unacceptable and that steps will be taken to make sure the offenders are punished,” said Javadekar.

The Union Minister also paid tribute to all forest martyrs who lost their lives fighting forest fires and due to wildlife attacks by tigers, elephants and single horned rhino.

Certificates were issued in remembrance of the forest personnel who laid their lives while performing their duty in the year 2019-20.

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