The timber mafia continues to take the river route to smuggle woods Credit: Rishu Kalantri

Tinsukia: The forest department seized 43 logs sailing in the mighty Brahmaputra river at Guijan in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Friday as the timber mafia continues to take the river route to smuggle woods.

The incident comes amid reports of large-scale destruction of forests by the timber mafia, and exposes the unabated smuggling of logs and timber going on in the region and neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh.

Speaking with EastMojo, Guijan ranger Jagannath Agarwalla said that based on an input by a forest department guard at Lonka anti-poaching camp inside Dibru Saikhowa National Park on Wednesday night, an operation was launched. “The man who accompanied the logs jumped into the river and managed to escape. We got hold of the logs and somehow sailed them till Guijan ghat.”

“We have seized the logs, B-class quality, on Friday after they were ferried to the ghat,” Agarwalla said, adding, “It is suspected that the timber mafia had smuggled the logs from the dense forests of eastern Arunachal Pradesh and took the river route to escape the forest department’s eyes.”

The process of ascertaining the market value of the seized logs is underway, said Agarwalla. “The logs measured so far have turned out to be of diametre 1 metre approximately and length of up to 2 metres.”

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