TURA, Oct 2 - In a sensational development, a police truck, bearing registration number ML 02 3011 was caught by Garo Students Union (GSU) and All Achik Youth Federation (AAYF) while it was illegally transporting timber to Assam in the wee hours this morning.
The seizure by the NGOs has pointed to a deep nexus between police and timber smugglers, something that had been hinted at for quite some time.
Three months ago another police truck was caught by Krishnai forest staff in Goalpara, but no action was taken in the crime.
Both trucks allegedly originated from 5th Battalion at Samgong, Williamnagar in East Garo Hills. The driver of the vehicle, identified as Sanjay Sangma was caught by the NGOs today. He was later handed over to the police and an FIR filed by the NGOs at Dainadubi police outpost in North Garo Hills.
“There were four-five labourers in the truck but they managed to escape. We were able catch the driver and have handed over the truck to the Forest dept along with an FIR on the matter,” said GSU Depa unit president, Chengchang Marak.
Police sources, however, stated that the smuggled timber belonged to a private party and the driver involved had thought of making an extra buck by helping the smugglers.
The destination of the smuggled timber is alleged to be Rongjuli in Assam, while the timber is suspected to have been picked up from Rongjeng in EGH.