Two Haryana IFS officers accuses chief secretary of forcing them to mark forest land as non-forest area

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Two senior IFS officers of Haryana has alleged their superior officer (additional chief secretary) of forcing them to mark forest land as a non-forest area in order to carry out construction there.

According to a letter sent by to chief conservator of forests PP Bhojvaid by one of the forest officers, IFS Vinod Kumar has accused the additional chief secretary of forest and wildlife SK Gulati of forcing him to consider the certain marked area as a non-forest area for construction. Vinod Kumar also alleged that SK Gulati threatened him of suspension and serious consequences if he did not comply with his directions.

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IFS Kumar described his meeting with Mr. Gulati at Van Bhawan in Panchkula on June 22 in which he wrote “The ACS insisted me to write that Bharti realtor land in Sarai Khwaja, Faridabad, was not a forest as per 1980 status on the basis of Survey of India (SoI) map… I did not agree, he was furious over this and threatened me with dire consequences… It is pertinent to mention that matter regarding this case is sub-judice with National Green Tribunal and asking for such biased report by oral order without giving time to department is beyond my comprehension,”

Another IFS officer Renjintha MH also made similar charges against chief secretary and in her letter, she wrote to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar it said “I was abused with words like ‘bloody fool’, being ‘crooked’ by Mr. Gulati over the phone. I was also told that I would not be ‘spared’ and ‘would be made to pay’,”

Chief Secretary Mr. Gulati in the matter claimed: “the move is within the law and those officers in the forest department were holding the government to ransom and not allowing any development in this region”.

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He also alleged that the officers are perturbed because the move will shut shops use for corrupt purposes in the process.

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