Sandalwood trees found axed near Taj Mahal

April 11th, 2009 - 6:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Agra, Apr 11 (ANI): Fifteen sandalwood trees in the Shah Jahan garden near the Taj Mahal have been found axed here. Two employees of the garden have been accused of the act.

As per the Supreme Court orders the area near the Taj Mahal is declared as a ‘Green Belt’ and gardens have been developed there.

Enquiries are being conducted into the matter.

“I am under orders to enquire the case. Whatever names comes up, an First Information Report (FIR) would be registered and action would be taken against them,” said Satish Chand Upadhyay, an official.

The accused employees claimed that the trees had fallen due to a storm, but there are clear axe marks on the trees.

The accused employees were seen by people in the garden felling trees.

“I came to the garden for a morning jog. When I came today, I heard some sounds, like that of an axe cutting something. I saw that some people were cutting trees. When I enquired about it, they said that they were under orders from officials. They had axes, wood and ropes. There were around five to six people. I could not stop them, as I was alone. They left one by one saying they were going to call the official,” said Syed Munnavar Ali, an eyewitness.

The wood of the trees has been kept in storerooms. There were many sandalwood trees in the garden but allegedly in connivance with smugglers, the gardeners have been cutting them.

The Shah Jahan garden is a tourist attraction with hundreds of tourists visiting everyday. (ANI)

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