January 03, 2019:
On Thursday, a family court’s judge from Rajasthan has filed an FIR after some miscreants felled and fled with a sandal tree from the backyard of his official bungalow.
The theft took place at Kishan Gurjar’s bungalow, situated near Nehru Garden, about a kilometre from Nayapura Police Station on the night of Dec 30, when he was on a vacation.
He filed a police report on Wednesday when he returned. Wildlife activists say there are several sandal trees in Govt. bungalows in Kota & this is not the first sandal tree theft.
Brijesh Vijayvergya, an expert, estimated the value of the tree at ₹1 crore, and said it weighed around 3 tonnes and sandalwood sells for ₹30-35 lakh per ton in the black market.
Vijayvergya said, “Felling and transporting a tree takes at least three hours and cannot be carried out without the involvement of guards and caretakers. In the past also, similar cases were lodged in police stations but no stern action was taken against any of the accused.”
Nayapura SHO Manoj Rana said, “A case under relevant IPC sections was registered on Wednesday against unidentified accused. Investigation is on to trace the tree and the accused. So far, there are no clues of the thieves.”
Additional SP, Kota, Rajesh Meel told TOI special teams have been formed to trace the thieves. Technical help is being sought to track the accused, besides digging into past cases of such burglaries.
The ASP said, “The thieves used some electric or fuel operated machine to cut off the tree. Twigs, branches and root parts of the tree were left on the spot.”