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Dilip Kumar

Dhenkanal: As many as three persons have been arrested on charges of setting fire at Ranjagada reserve forest here in Dhenkanal district. The accused caught by the forest department personnel have been identified as Hrudananda Singh, Sahadeb Behera and Anirudha Behera.

Hrudananda belongs to Mandiapada village under Kankadahada police station in the district while two others are from Rekuti under Telkoi police limits in Keonjhar district.

A special team led by Kamakhyanagar Range Officer (East) Satya Narayan Sahoo carried out raids to arrest the trio.

In a separate incident, a poacher has been arrested for setting forest afire at Podadiha range near Udala in Mayurbhanj district.

The forest department personnel arrest him while he was liting dry leaves for poaching. They have also seized an axe, a gun used for hunting and 7kg of porcupine meat from him.

Meanwhile, Sambalpur district administration has geared up to take strict action against those who set forest ablaze. A coordination meeting between forest Officials and district administration had been convened, Sambalpur Collector Subham Saxsena said.

"We are keeping a close watch on the situation. The district administration, DFO and SP are cautious to meet any such eventuality even as the situation is under control. I have instructed the DFO and SP to take strict action against anyone who is found setting fire in forest areas," he added.

Fire broke out at Budharaja hill in the Sambalpur city two days ago, but the blaze is stated to be under control now.

Earlier on Tuesday, the forest department had arrested a poacher for allegedly setting fire in Gudidiha forest under Dudhiali range in Mayurbhanj district. The accused has been identified as Salu Tiu of Khadakuda village in the district.

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