ITBP recommends service termination of DIG who asked unarmed personnel to transport teak wood in Maoist-hit Chhattisgarh
Express News Service
RAIPUR: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has proposed the termination from the service of a DIG rank officer for his “involvement in corrupt practices” while deployed in a combat zone on anti-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh.
It was late night on 12 December last year, when an ITBP lorry, carrying Teak (Sagwan) woods in big numbers, was obstructed by the villagers of Totalbharri in Maoist-affected Rajnandgaon district, about 120 km west of Raipur.
The police and the forest officials the same night confiscated the wooden logs, seized the truck, registered a case and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on ITBP party onboard the vehicle.
ITBP promptly took cognisance of the incident, ordered ‘Court of Inquiry’ to investigate the circumstances on using the lorry to “illegally” transport the Teak logs.
Preliminary observation cited the involvement of DIG Chota Ram Jat who was then in charge of 44th battalion ITBP in Rajnandgaon to oversee the operations against outlawed CPI (Maoist). The DIG was then officially transferred to Leh on 28 December citing administrative reasons.
As per the detail accessed by The New Indian Express, the ‘Court of Inquiry’ examined 36 witnesses. The internal probe indicted the DIG who placed orders sending five ITBP personnel including the driver without weapons on a truck to Totalbarri to “illegally” carry out loading, transporting of Teak wood.
“ITBP DIG Chota Ram Jat has compromised the security of ITBP personnel sending them to the Maoists-Affected area without proper security, violate laid down procedure on the movement of troops in such sensitive region and didn’t inform his higher authority. He misused his official position as DIG (anti-Maoist operations) and indulged in grave misconduct involving himself in illegal activities—illegally procured and transporting prohibited Teak wood in ITBP vehicle”, stated the inquiry documents.
“We stand for zero tolerance against the unethical or corrupt practices”, said Vivek Pandey, ITBP public relations officer.
Owing to serious misconduct by the DIG, the ITBP rendered him as “undesirable for further retention in the service as he failed to perform with due integrity and devotion”.
While recommending the termination of his services Jat has been served with a show-cause notice to submit his explanation.
The environmentalists appreciated the speedy action initiated by ITBP.
“There have been huge pending cases on illegal tree felling, smuggling of forest wood, wildlife poaching lying for the past 15-20 years but with little action taken. The ITBP did a commendable job taking a firm decision within nine months. They have indeed done a climate justice”, averred Nitin Singhvi, a nature lover.