Saturday, 06 January 2018 | PNS | Haridwar- The Haridwar district administration started acting on the warning of the District Magistrate Deepak Rawat about exposing the ‘feigned’ concern of Matri Sadan with environment and Ganga after a case  was registered against an inmate of the ashram  Brahmachari Dayanand for cutting two Shisham trees  sans permission from the forest department under Forest Conservation Act. The report has been sent to the divisional forest officer, the forest department officials said. However, those in Matri Sadan ridiculed the move, saying that the trees felled thus were completely dried-up and so the case would not stand a proper scrutiny. They further said that they would soon file a complaint against the DM for acting vindictively and misusing his power. It will be recalled that the head of the ashram Swami Shivanand had slammed the DM for his ‘illegal’ action of  issuing prohibitory order under section 144 of CRPC on the ashram premises. As per the charge that the forest department levelled against the seer, the branches of the trees thus felled were used by the inmates. The forest department claimed that a team comprising ranger Dinesh Naudiyal and forester Rajesh Kumar had inspected the site following which the notice was sent.  The report further mentioned that they had found two more felled trees on the road just outside the ashram premises. Speaking of the notice sent to Matri Sadan seer,  sub divisional officer Nandvallabh Sharma said that under the Forest Conservation Act 1976, the guilty can be confined for three years and a penalty  of  Rs  5000 can be  slapped on him or her in case trees of some particular species are found to have been cut without permission. Quizzed on it, Brahmachari Dayanand said that what they had cut was ‘kasht’ (wood) and not the ‘ped’  (tree). “We are sure that no permission is required to cut logs when the tree is completely dried-up. A year ago, the trees fell over the vegetables grown inside the ashram. They were threat to the cattle too. We kept a part of it here for use,” he said. He cited the section of the act under which the case was filed to buttress his non-culpability. He said that the act clearly mentions that  no person would cut tree other than which is completely dried and has fallen without the aid of human agency. “This series of actions taken by DM  himself or taken at his behest prove that he is misusing  his power to browbeat us into submission without going through the provisions of laws he is invoking to vindictively nail us down,” the seer alleged.

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