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Demand to break silence from Rahul on cutting of rosewood tree in Wayanad


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Thiruvananthapuram. An alleged scam involving cutting down centuries-old rosewood trees in violation of rules in Kerala’s Wayanad district took a new turn on Friday. BJP has demanded Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi to break his silence on this issue. Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan on Thursday met Union Forest and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in the national capital and demanded a detailed inquiry by his ministry into the massive felling of rosewood trees in Wayanad district.

Muraleedharan was seen roaming in the hinterlands of the district on Friday morning where trees were illegally cut.

Muraleedharan said, Wayanad constituency has now become a high profile. Its MP Gandhi is surprisingly silent about the crores of forest trees illegally cut and sold in the area.

“We haven’t heard a word from him,” he said. So does this mean that he is also a silent supporter of what is happening? They should break their silence.

He told Javadekhar that an investigation should be initiated to unearth the Rs 130 crore trade of shisham trees cut from various places in Wayanad and other districts.

He said, not long ago, when steps were not taken by the authorities to douse the fire in the Amazon forests, the people currently in power here protested against this incident.

Rosie Augustine, a lumber trader who was accused by forest officials of cutting expensive rosewood trees in Wayanad, claimed that he had cut the trees as per the rules and to get the necessary papers, he asked the forest officials. He was given a bribe of Rs 25 lakh.

Incidentally, the Congress-led opposition raised the issue in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday, while the same matter came up in the Kerala High Court the next day.

Meanwhile, state Forest Minister AK Sashindran said that not a single tree, which is currently in the news, has been cut from the forest land.

Sashindran said, the forest department has not come out with any order allowing felling of trees. It is the revenue department that has allowed this kind of activity. I have already asked for a detailed inquiry into the role of forest officials in this.

Meanwhile, former Leader of Opposition and senior Congress MLA Ramesh Chennithala demanded a judicial inquiry into the illegal felling of trees.

“I seriously doubt whether this order came without the concurrence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The state government just cannot wash its hands and we demand a judicial inquiry into the matter.

–IANS

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Web Title-Demand to break silence from Rahul on cutting of rosewood tree in Wayanad

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