Wednesday, Dec 17, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Our Special Correspondent
V.K. Francis, range officer of the Devikulam forest range in Idukki district before he was suspended in July last year in the wake of the Mathikettan land-grab controversy, was honoured at an environmental workshop here on Monday. Ecologue-2003, attended by senior conservation officials, journalists and environmental activists, felicitated Mr. Francis for his `sincere attempts to stall land grab in Mathikettan and his valiant efforts to expose the lobby of land-grabbers, politicians and corrupt officials.' The felicitation was in the presence of senior officials in the Department of Forests and Wildlife, including two chief conservators of forests.
Earlier, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, P.K. Surendranathan Asari, who attended Ecologue-2003, had told presspersons that Mr. Francis would be reinstated. Mr. Asari himself had told Mr. Francis of the reinstatement. A senior Government Secretary had told TV channel about the impending reinstatement. The Forests Minister, K. Sudhakaran, had months before praised Mr. Francis' integrity and honesty and favoured his reinstatement. The High Court had twice asked the Government to examine his continuance in suspension. The time by which the Government should have responded to the court's directive had expired on December 15.
But, all these had not led to the issuing of the Government order reinstating Mr. Francis. Ms. Lisie Jacob, who holds charge of Secretary, Forests, told The Hindu that she was not aware of this. The reinstatement is allegedly being blocked by another department under influential politicians as his return to the Devikulam range would frustrate the land-grabbers' efforts to encroach the forest land around the proposed Mathikettan National Park.
Mr. Francis, who had consistently resisted land-grab in Mathikettan and who had faced threats to his life from the land-grabbers, was ironically suspended by the Government along with three of his juniors. Several Revenue and Land Survey officials too had been suspended in the mass suspension that followed a report submitted to the Government by the a committee headed by the then additional chief secretary, Chandrasekharan Nair. Ironically, all those who were suspended after the exposure of the Mathikettan land-grab, except the four Forests officials, have been reinstated.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of