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Forest Dept registers case against Babu for trespassing into the protected forest range of Kurumbachi hills


Palakkad: In a move to restrict people from trekking in Kurumbachi hills here, the forest department has registered a case against Babu, who got stuck in a crevice on the steep hills of Cheradu in Malampuzha. Reportedly, the case is filed against Babu and his friends for trespassing in the protected forest range. The unexpected move from forest officials came in the wake of many people trespassing into the restricted areas to climb the hill.

Earlier, Revenue Minister K Rajan stated that relaxation given to Babu would not be given to anyone else. It was agreed that no case would be registered against Babu in a high-level meeting held on Monday. However, many people have started to ascend to the hills in the wake of the government’s decision to cancel the case against Babu.

Similarly, authorities were forced to rescue a man after he was trapped on the same hill on Sunday. The locals also stated that many people have trespassed into the protected area despite warnings from the authorities. Further, environmentalists have voiced their disapproval over the forest department’s decision not to register a case. They also formed a coalition at the national level to make it mandatory to file a case of trespassing in the forest.

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The case has been registered under section 27 of the Kerala Forest Act. This is a minor offence and can be solved by paying a small fine. Babu pointed out that no one should visit the hill without permission, assuming that no case will be registered. Kerala Forests Minister A K Saseendran and Revenue Minister K Rajan said leniency is shown to Babu, the young trekker, who was rescued from the hills, and the tribal for entering the forest area without permission would not be shown to the others. Both Ministers said strict action would be taken against anyone who treks or camps without permission.

The District Forest Officer (DFO) of Palakkad told reporters that a 10-15 member team, including watchers, conducted search operations for any campers or trekkers in the hills today and would camp there at night. The official said the team would conduct search operations on Tuesday morning also and then return.



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