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Youths arrested for setting fire to Uttarakhand forests in pursuit of social media fame

Youths arrested for setting fire to Uttarakhand forests in pursuit of social media fame

fireDEHRADUN: Amid the devastating fire in the Uttarakhand forest, the state government and forest department are making relentless efforts to gain control, while unfortunate incidents are also coming to light before the police.

The Director General of Police in Uttarakhand, Abhinav Kumar, informed the media that investigations have uncovered instances where young individuals with misguided intentions deliberately ignited forest fires in a bid to garner attention and recognition through social media platforms such as creating reels.

The situation has prompted the deployment of resources from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Air Force to combat the blaze. Sources at the Uttrakhand’s forest department revealed, “A significant amount of water, totalling five thousand litres, was sprayed from helicopters in two rounds”.

Confirming the reports, an official of the forest department also told, “The helicopter operations to douse the flames will persist. Additionally, technical institutions have been tasked with developing proposals for artificial rain to aid in firefighting efforts”.

The Minister of Forests in Uttarakhand, Subodh Uniyal, told The New Indian Express, “So far, there have been 930 incidents of forest fires in the state, resulting in more than 1,196 hectares of forest being engulfed in flames. The highest number of 491 incidents occurred in Kumaon and 365 incidents in Garhwal, while 74 cases are within wildlife sanctuaries.”

“The uncontrolled blaze has resulted in the tragic loss of five lives and injuries to four others. In addition to the forest department, assistance will also be sought from police, PAC, home guards, and PRD personnel in sensitive districts in case of emergencies,” Minister Uniyal stated.

Abhimanyu Singh, the Divisional Forest Officer of Kedarnath and Rudraprayag told, “During patrolling in the Sonprayag-Bhimbali area, the team apprehended six individuals who had set fire to the forest area in the Kali Fata region. Upon interrogation, these individuals identified themselves as Mastan Singh, Rajendra Khatri, Manoj Chandra, Devendra Lal, Man Singh, and Shahil Chandra, residents of Dangwal village, Jakholi”. All the suspects were brought to the Ukhimath Range office where a case was registered against them.

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