Mhow: Assistant Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Mahendra Singh Dhakad reached Mhow to take stock of the situation of the forest site and the forest outpost of Badgonda village which was the point of alleged “confrontation” between deputy ranger Ram Suresh Dubey and cabinet minister Usha Thakur.
CCF CS Ninama, DFO Dr Kiran Bisen, Mhow SDO Rakesh Lehri and several other officers of the forest department also accompanied him during his visit.
Dhakad first reached the place on Mhow-Choral dam road where alleged excavation was going on and equipment was seized by the forest team. Thereafter, he reached the resort of MPTDC situated on the side of Choral dam and chaired meeting of forest officials there. Then he recorded the statement of the deputy ranger Ram Suresh Dubey who is the complainant in the case.
By then, a large number of BJP leaders reached the resort and handed a memorandum to Dhakad, in which they defended their leaders Manoj Patidar and others over the allegations levelled by Dubey on them. Dhakad assured them that a fair inquiry will be conducted after which he will hand over the report to his higher ups.
When media persons tried to talk to Dhakad, he said he was not a spokesperson of the forest department so he won’t give a byte. When the reporters urged him to say something, he said, “I have inspected the land on which excavation was done and have directed the responsible officers to write to the Collector for demarcation of the land in that area so that it could be clarified on whether the land is of forest or revenue department. Once that becomes clear, the future course of action will be planned”.
Minister for culture and tourism Usha Thakur who is on a study tour to Kerala, said, “I had gone to Ambedkar Mandal to inaugurate development works worth crores and came to know that around 520 people in Runda village near Choral dam faced a huge problem as about a 50-meter stretch of the approach road towards their village was in a dilapidated condition.
Looking at this, Mandal president Manoj Patidar excavated soil from his farm and was filling the pits when the forest team arrived there and seized the equipment that was being used. After my programme, I was returning through the area but former Mhow MLA Antar Singh Darbar had posted wrong videos on social media, on which I approached the forest minister so that a thorough inquiry by a senior officer could be done.
Badgonda police station in charge Ajit Singh Bais, when contacted said he had not received the complaint so far. He further said that if the complaint comes to him, investigation would be done.