Govt to honour forest guard who took on sand mafia

Chandigarh, August 13: A single-handed fight against the sand mafia by Devinder Singh, a block forest officer in the Punjab Forest Department, has ultimately been recognized by the state government.

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The forest officer, who is recuperating from fatal injuries inflicted upon by the sand mafia two months ago, is among those to be honoured at a state-level function on Independence Day in Ludhiana. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is scheduled to preside over the function.

A senior government functionary said the name of the officer, who had suffered life-threatening head and neck injuries, had been recommended by the Forest Department. The department also proposed to promote him as a deputy ranger.

Devinder Singh’s colleagues recount that for the past 10 years, he had been consistently taking on the sand and wood mafia. In 2007, he had sustained injuries but he continued his tirade against the mafia.

After reports of him not being attended to properly by his department were highlighted in these columns, Forest Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and senior department officials intervened and a conservator of forests was deputed to attend to the requirements of the family.

Source Tribune India

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