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Mani's kin trying to usurp forest tract: VS

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 21. The Leader of the Opposition, V. S. Achuthanandan, has alleged that close relatives of the Revenue Minister, K. M. Mani, were trying to encroach around 7,000 acres of forest land in the Ponthanpuzha area spread across Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts.

In an open letter to the Chief Minister, A. K. Antony, released for publication here today, Mr. Achuthanandan has called for an urgent action against the Forest officials who were abetting the poaching bid and protection of the forest tract.

The forest land in question was rich in several rare wood varieties which would together have a value of Rs. 1,500 crores, he said. The Opposition leader said the Forest officials were abetting their attempt by constructing a road into the forest tract in the name of eco-tourism.

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