Concerning the regular burning and smouldering of Nongmaiching forest range in Imphal East by unknown person(s) with intention of deforesting for poppy plantation, the Coordinating Body Khurai (CBK) on Thursday demanded immediate intervention of the state government to investigate the matter.
In this regard, the CBK, a conglomerate of 42 civil society organisations of Imphal East district, on Thursday submitted a representation to Chief Minister N Biren Singh drawing his attention to disarm the dwellers in that hill range until the end of dry season.
Meanwhile, taking to social media, CM Biren announced, on his Facebook page, a reward of Rs 5 lakh to the person who provides information about the perpetrators who set the wildfire.
Citing about the wildfire at the Nongmaiching Hill range, the chief minister said, “Please stop causing wildfire. There is a need to arrest those perpetrators”.
The representation by CBK alleged that the people settling in and around the Nongmaiching are regularly burning down the forest, deforesting the Reserve Forest area for the purpose of poppy plantation thereby causing irreparable loss to the forest ecosystem and wildlife.
Highlighting that the reserve forest was set ablaze on January 19, 21, 26 and on February 6, 7 and 8, it said such heinous crime of burning is continuing by these culprits in the reserve forest areas with threat using firearms and ammunition despite strong objections by their volunteers and staff members of Forest department.
Stressing the need for urgent action to protect the said reserve forest area from these harmful antisocial people, the CBK demanded legal action against those perpetrators.