Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bargarh, Oct 22:
Melchamunda police in Odisha’s Bargarh district has arrested two accused in the shocking incident of fleeing timber mafia crushing a forester to death under the wheels of their mini truck on Sunday morning.
The two – identified as Chaitanya Sahu, proprietor of a saw mill at Kujamunda village and Raju Sahu – were arrested from Chandrapur in neighbouring Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, police said today. Police said another accused Sanjeev Sahu was still at large.
The three were in the truck that crushed forester Ashwini Kumar Mohanty (57) to death while injuring another Forest department official while they were chasing and trying to stop the Tata Ace truck that was carrying illegal timber, police said.
It may be recalled here that acting on a tip off that a Tata Ace vehicle was carrying smuggled wooden planks from Kujamunda village in Laumunda area under Bijepur police limits, forester Ashwini Kumar Mohanty and his team chased the vehicle at around 7 am in the morning on Sunday and made several attempts to stop it on the Laumunda-Khalabahal road. But the vehicle managed to give the chasing team a slip.
After chasing the timber laden vehicle for quite some time, forester Mohanty managed to move ahead of the fleeing vehicle and tried to stop it from the front near Khalabahal village under Gaislet police limits. Instead of stopping the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle, however, sped off crushing Mohanty under the wheels. Mohanty was seriously injured in the incident while the vehicle managed to escape.
Mohanty was rescued by other forest officials and taken to the district headquarters hospital at Bargarh where he was declared brought dead. Forest department officials then informed the Melchamunda police station about the incident. A murder case bearing no. 65/14 was registered at the Melchamunda police station based on the complaint of forest department official Subodh Sahu.
Melchamunda police registered a murder case against Chaitanya Sahu, the proprietor of a saw mill at Kujamunda village and the owner of the truck that mowed down forester Mohanty. It had also seized the timber laden vehicle and kept it at the police station premises.