MLA Bani, BJP workers protest against Lal Singh, demands his ouster from State Cabinet

MLA Jeevan Lal addressing the agitated Grief and locals of Bani during protest in Kathua on Saturday.

Road blocked against Forest Minister for
imposing fine on GREF officials

Sarvjeet Singh
Kathua, May 13:

The Labourers of GREF and locals of Bani along with BJP workers came on road agitating against action taken by Forest department in which department seized Machines of GREF and took custody of drivers of those machines.
Protestors blocked Basohli-Bani road at Mangiyar, Siyara, Ghagror, Saandar, Karadoh area and raised slogan against Forest Minister Ch. Lal Singh. During the protest no vehicle was allowed to move from both sides. Meanwhile as the matter heated up BJP workers along with MLA Bani Jeevan Lal also joined in the agitation and strongly demanded restoration of widening of Basohli-Bani Road that was declared National Highway by Centre Govt. few days ago. In the meantime workers also called up Bani Bandh and school colleges along with Market was completely shutdown against the action taken by Forest Department.
MLA Bani warned in front of protestors that if the work is not resumed within days, he is going to resign from Pahari District President ship and MLA ship. BJP Mandal President Bani Thakur Das, said that the Forest Minister is discriminating with Bani and not providing Forest Clearance for many roads approved in the area deliberately. He also warned that all the members of Bani BJP Mandal along with him will resign from Party if the BJP Higher officials didn’t take any strict action against Forest Minister. They demanded sack of Ch. Lal Singh from State Cabinet. At the same time, the workers involved in the demonstration said that the forest department kept the drivers on non-specific graphs in custody till late night and seized the machines as well. BJP activists made arrangements for food for protesters.
MLA Jeevan Lal later assured the workers, said that the high command of the party have been informed in this regard. Basohli road construction work will not be allowed to stop in any cost as it is already a very delayed in govt. scheme. He said that the central government has declared it as a National Highway and work is being done only with the plans of the Center. In such a situation, the central government is keeping a close watch on this matter. He also assured that the decision will be taken and the work will start in every situation. The MLA said that the project came from the centre and nobody will try to stop it. People have faith in BJP and work will be restored. Meanwhile, the Forest Department has made it clear that development is in its place, but loss of forest resources will not be tolerated and there will be no compromise. DFO Basohli Kuldeep Singh said that GREF violated the conditions issued during the work of the forest clearance, in which the malawa was lifted and it was thrown out in the nearby forest area and 117 trees were destroyed, whose prices were in crores in the coming times. Now GREF is using casual labors and workers to hide their mistakes. They do not know what is wrong and just being misled. The forest department has not stopped the widening of Basohli Bani road. In this matter a penalty of One Crore 13 lakhs has been imposed on GREF for violating of various norms.

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