Bhubaneswar: Forest officials of Manda range under Rairangpur division (territorial) arrested a 53- year-old man for setting Mundeswar forest on fire, on Thursday night. The forest officials in Odisha’s Boudh district have arrested a man and his son for allegedly setting Mundeswar forest on fire on Monday.
Since the jungle inferno spread across State’s forest including Similipal biosphere in Mayurbhanj district two weeks back, 20 miscreants have been taken into custody so far for setting afire the forested areas. The father-son duo Asan Majhi and Shyamghan Majhi were apprehended while setting dry leaves on fire in Mundeswar reserve forest area.
The accused persons were caught with match-boxes and on questioning, they confessed to the crime. They were later remanded to judicial custody under the provisions of Orissa Forest Act and Wildlife Protection Act. Meanwhile the authorities of forest divisions in Odisha have announced cash reward incentive of Rs 5,000 for anyone disseminating information on miscreants setting forest areas on fire.
Setting forest on fire is a punishable offence under the Odisha Forest Act and anyone found guilty of the crime may be punished with a jail term of three to seven years.