Mother of five dies under log as smugglers make hay in Kupwara forests

Srinagar: A 40-year-old woman, mother of five children, died under a rolling wooden log let free allegedly by timber smugglers in broad day light in Devar Lolab forest Kupwara on Tuesday.

According to the locals, the timber smugglers continue to plunder the green gold especially since the unrest began in the Valley on July 7.

Sources told GNS that the woman, Muneeza Begum Wife of Gulab Mir of Devar Lolab had gone to get firewood when she came under the wooden log. She received critical head injury and was rushed to the hospital were doctors declared her brought dead, they said.

Concerned SHO said that a police party has been deputed to the area to ascertain the facts and assured strict action against those involved.

When contacted, the concerned Range officer said he too has received reports about the death of a woman. “We will look into the reports and those found guilty will be dealt with sternly,” the officer said.

The north Kashmir’s Kupwara district has a forest cover spread over many blocks and according to the locals, the timber smugglers are openly looting the valuable assets.

Eminent residents of Diver (Village) told GNS that many forest employees are in nexus with timber smugglers.

“How is it possible that the smugglers would carry plunder in broad day light without the support of the forest department officials?” Bilal Ahmad, a local said.

Many residents of Lolab, Diver, Sogam, Drugmulla, Natnusa, Kandi and Anderhama also complained “massive loot” of the forests.

“It is shocking to see large number of timber smugglers bringing the chopped trees every day. In past, it used to be done clandestinely but even those getting firewood or taking animals for grazing could openly see the smugglers loot the forests in daylight,” said locals of Sogam. (GNS)

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