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Tendu leaves seized, 11 arrested

Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: Forest officials seized large quantity of tendu leaves in Kandhamal district, which was allegedly being transported outside the State.

It hinted at a racket of illegal transportation of tendu leaves to destinations outside Orissa from western Orissa. According to Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) of Phulbani Rohit Kumar Lenka, this tendu leaves stock was loaded on two trucks and a SUV. Following intelligence reports, forest officials had trapped them at Ranipathara check gate under Sudurgumpa forest range on Friday. Forest range officers of Sudurgumpa, Phulbani and Tikabali led this operation. These transporters did not have any papers for transportation of this huge amount of forest produce.

Over 103 quintals of tendu leaves was seized from the trucks and the SUV. Eleven persons involved in this illegal transportation were arrested. Mr Lenka said the arrested persons said they were transporting this huge stock of tendu leaves from Rairakhol in western Orissa to Berhampur.

But Berhampur is not having any major bidi making industry to use such large quantity of tendu leaves. So, it was suspected that the stock tendu leaves was aimed at transported out of the State via Berhampur. It may be noted that Berhampur is just 20 kilometres away from interstate border between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

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