Forest vigil

a high-level committee formed by the Lok Ayukta of Madhya Pradesh, began probing the felling of Malik Makbooja trees in Bastar district in early May, said state government sources. The move came following a public interest litigation moved by S R Hiremath, coordinator of Samaj Parivartan Samudaya, a Karnataka-based social organisation. Hiremath accused the timber mafia, politicians and bureaucrats of wreaking havoc on Bastar's pristine environment.

The committee would probe four cases within two months after noting illegal granting of Malik Makbooja lands to purchasers and the subsequent felling of trees on those lands which have tribal ownership right.

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