Sanjay Dutta, the belakoba range officer of the Baikunthapur forest division was transferred by the state government for raiding the residence of Arjuna Awardee Swapna Berman.
Swapna Berman on July 13, was raided by the forest department for allegedly keeping illegal timber, who was later given clean chit by Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee. Later, on Saturday the state government was ordered to transfer the officer in connection with the incident.
And on the following day itself, locals staged a demonstration against the government’s decision, as villagers demanded immediate withdrawal of the transfer of the forest officer.
Sources in the forest department said that, ‘Dutta and his team raided the house of Bengal athlete at Patkata area near here and allegedly found illegal timber’.
‘Forest officials had alleged that Barman could not furnish any purchase receipt for the timber found in her residence’ they further said.
On Thursday, CM Mamta Banerjee not only gave clean chit to Barman but also hit out at forest department for conducting the search at the athlete’s house.
Banerjee had said, “She (Barman) somehow has purchased the timber to build her house… She is a good player from the Rajbanshi community. I respect her. A few people from forest department raided her residence without informing us (the state government). If they (the forest officials) had ask us, we would not have allowed them (to conduct the raid).”
Banerjee then went on to say that she had even talked to Barman over a phone call after the raid and assured her that the issue would be resolved.