Cassian Baliarsingh

Swinging into action the Divisional Forest Officer, Jeypore in Koraput district has put a forester and a woman forest guard under suspension with immediate effect until further orders for allegedly cheating kendu leaf workers.

The accused government forest officials have been identified as forest guard Padmini Patnaik and forester Durga Prasad Naik of Jeypore Forest Division, Koraput.

The two officials have been accused of cheating tribal kendu leaf pluckers of the exgratia of Rs 2 lakh provided by the state government in case of death or permanent disability. The two illegally demanded bribes from the innocent tribal people to provide them the exgratia.

Later, they used several tactics and bungled all the exgratia money, and threatened the tribal workers with dire consequences. 

Based on a complaint, Divisional Forest Officer conducted a probe and placed the two under suspension after a video of the lady forest guard cheating the tribals went viral. 

The order read, “In pursuance of Rule-12 (2) of Odisha Civil Service (CCA) Rules, 1962 pending drawal department proceedings Smt. Padmini Patnaik, Forest Guard in-charge of K.Gumma-A, KL Section is hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect until further orders. During her suspension her headquarter is fixed at Range Office, MV-79, KL Range.”

“She is directed to hand over the complete charge of K.Gumma-A, KL Section to Sri Kalu Charan Mohanty, Forester K.Gumma-B, KL Section with immediate effect.”

Similarly, the Divisional Forest Officer also placed forester Durga Prasad Naik under suspension and fixed his headquarter at Range Office, KL Range, Kalimela of Malkangiri district. He has been directed to hand over the complete charge of Balimela KL Range as well as Balimela KL Section to Sri Somonath Muduli, forester Kalimela KL Range with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, the Nabarangpur Kendu Leaf Department has been directed to conduct further probe into the involvement of more officials in this connection.


(Reported by Jitendra Beura, OTV)