The Goalpara forest personnel resorted to blank firing at Dhokapara village in Lakhipur after residents holding sticks in their hands allegedly attacked a forest ranger's vehicle and snatched the motorcycle of a forest guard.
According to forest officials, they had received a tip at around 6.30 pm on Sunday about a miscreant identified as Kala, involved in cutting off Sal trees from Kumarkhali Reserve Forest.
Accordingly, a team of forest officials under the aegis of forest ranger Dhruva Dutta reached the spot and found that the trunk of the trees were hidden at a residence of Kala.
“While trying to seize the trunk of Sal trees, Kala and few others got into a fight with our forest personnel. During the scuffle, villagers came out of their house holdings sticks in their hands and chased us. They also snatched the motorcycle from one of our forest guard. At one stage, they obstructed us from moving ahead. Following this, our team fired one round in the air to spread fear among the villagers. No one was hurt in the incident. We managed to come out of the village along with our forest guards. Later, a police complaint was lodged at Lakhipur police station and a re-operation with the police was conducted,” said Dhruva Dutta to the media.
Dutta also stated that a police team along with the forest officials after proceeding to the Dhokapara village for the re-operation found that the villagers who came to Kala's rescue had already hidden the Sal tree trunks.
Kala and few of his accomplices are currently absconding.