Home India News Bengal official’s wings clipped after taking on minister

Bengal official’s wings clipped after taking on minister


Kolkata : A day after he accused his minister of warning him to withdraw his order closing illegal saw mills, a top forest official in West Bengal had his wings clipped.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Mirza Asghar Sultan, who had made the allegations against Forest Minister Hiten Burman while speaking to a Bengali news channel, lost much of his powers with the government creating a new post PCCF-General and appointing Atanu Raha to it.

Interestingly, Sultan had taken over as PCCF only on Feb 7 replacing Raha.

“Raha has been reinstated as per the chief minister’s wish,” said Burman, who had earlier described the allegations leveled by Sultan as “false”.

Sultan had told the news channel that Barman had twice threatened him for an order he passed Feb 12 enforcing closure of illegal saw mills in the state.

“He (Barman) called me up and asked why I passed the order without asking him, to which I replied it was my routine job. I have just sent a reminder to all the divisional forest officers (DFOs) as to why no action was taken against the illegal saw mills. There is no requirement for your permission as whatever I was doing is under law,” Sultan said to the channel on phone.

“While I was sitting in his office, he (Barman) called up someone and said this PCCF is not obeying me. He needs to be taught a lesson. He thinks he is bigger than me. You collect people and take help from the police and teach him a lesson,” said Sultan about the minister.

The officer was at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings Thursday to attend a meeting involving Barman and other top officials of the forest department.

Burman said he has given a written complaint to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for initiating disciplinary proceedings against Sultan. “She has promised action,” he added.

Banerjee had summoned Burman to the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings Saturday to ascertain details of the case.