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Cutting down of poplar trees without auction: Official claims his signatures were done fraudulently

Bandipora, July 26: Government has constituted a committee to probe the matter related to cutting of poplar trees by PHE Sub-Division Sumbal here in North Kashmir’s Bandipora distirct.
As reported earlier, Public Health and Engineering Department has sold over 40 giant poplar trees worth lakhs to a local contractor for Rs nine thousand only at Shilwath village of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
PHE sub division Sumbal and division Sopore without any advertisement or auction sold these trees vide GR number of the receipt 36452, dated 21/7/2018 to a local contractor who also happens to the employee of the same department.
Since the contractor has sold the timber in market, now the Executive Engineer PHE is claiming that his signatures were done frequently on the receipt of auction papers.
“My signatures were fraudulently done over the auction receipts. A committee has been constituted under the supervision of a Technical Officer that will submit report within the period of ten days,” Executive Engineer PHE told news agency CNS.
“It was the news report from CNS that jolted me. I was completely unaware about the incident,” he claimed and added that guilty will face the music under law.
Reports said that the local contractor who paid Rs 9,000 and cut down over 40 lofty poplar trees is an employee of the same department. The government record shows that the said contractor Rameez Ahmad Mir son of Abdul Rahman Mir, a resident of Shilwath village was engaged in the department as a casual labourer in May 2008 vide CV Number 658, dated 3/09. Mir is currently posted at Tergam Sumbal.
Reports said that this blue eyed contractor actually made a secret plan to cut down the trees with other officials of the same department. The contractor and the other employees after selling these trees to private parties deposited Rs 9,000 in the State Treasury and distributed rest of the amount among each other.