Idukki: Cardamom farmers say Onam is an expense (Cardamom farmers) Forest Department officials from (Forest Officials) Idukki Flying Squad DFO (ON)Flying Squad DFO) The report will be submitted today. Detailed inquiry into the role of more officials and the Forest Department (Forest Department) Started. Suspended (Suspension) The first phase of the report will be against two officials.
Forest Minister AK Saseendran has suspended Section Forest Officer Cherian V. Cherian and Beat Forest Officer A. Raju from the Kumily Puliyanmala section. As part of the investigation into the Onam collection, the Idukki Flying DFO visited the Puliyanmala and Vandanmedu section offices and collected information from the employees. Statement of the complainants was also recorded.
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According to the Cardamom Growers Association, cardamom growers in Ayyappankovil, Kanchiyar, Nedunkandam, Kallar, Kumali, Puliyanmala, Vandanmedu and Kambammet areas of Idukki district have been threatened by forest officials. They were picked up in taxis at the Mufti. Farmers say they collect between Rs 2,000 and Rs 10,000, depending on the size of the garden.
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The complaint was lodged with the Chief Forest Conservator of the Vandanmede Cardamom Growers’ Association, along with CCTV footage of officials receiving money from a plantation owner’s home. It is being investigated whether anyone else was involved in the fundraising. Farmers also say they are threatening to sue those who do not collect, including cutting down trees from the leased land. Fallen trees are used by farmers for drying cardamom and other plants. It is threatened that the case will be taken up as illegal logging.
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The Forest Vigilance Division will investigate the role of other sections and top officials in the coming days. Following the controversy, the forest rangers are also trying to reach a settlement by returning the money. The police special branch has also submitted a preliminary report in the case.