Police rebut report on ‘walnut trees cut under police cordon’ in Shopian

Srinagar: Police on Wednesday rebutted a news report claiming that five walnut trees were cut in Woyen village of Shopian while the area was cordoned off by the police.

“Apropos to a news published by a newspaper from Srinagar under the heading ‘Five walnut trees cut down……’. The news published is being circulated on social media as well (sic),” a police spokesman said in a statement here.

It said that the district police administration has clarified that on 20 February, Police Post Imam Sahab received a written complaint from one Mohammad Shafi Ganaie of Upora Nagbal stating that some unknown persons have cut off his apple and walnut trees which has caused him loss.

The police statement said that a case FIR number 44/2018 under section 436 A, 427 RPC, 13 Prevention of J&K Specified Trees Act was registered and investigation has been taken up.

The local daily had alleged that the “Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) needed the wood for his house” and the owner of the walnut himself cut the trees. 

However, the police said that the wood was seized and was given on “supardnama” to Mohammad Shafi Bhat who resides in the neighbourhood of the orchard.

The daily had quoted Tehsildar Imam Sahib, Niyaz Ahmad, saying that the owners of the felled walnut trees, Mohammad Shafi and Bilal Ahmad, residents of Urpara tehsil Chitragam, cut down the trees on Monday at about 5pm.

“When the patwari of the area reached the spot, he found five big walnut trees chopped down.”

“When I contacted the in-charge of police station Imam Sahib, Sub-Inspector Javid Ahmad, for bringing the said culprits to my office, he admitted that it had been done under his knowledge, as the wood was to be taken to DySP Imam Sahib, Mir Gafoor, for his personal use. I have recorded the conversation between us,” Ahmad was quoted by the daily as saying.

(Feature image has been taken from the local daily Kashmir Reader)

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