The Leader of the Opposition and the Ex Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prof. Sh Prem Kumar Dhumal has expressed deep shock at the barbaric murder of a forest guard in the Mandi district’s Karsog forest range forests of Seri Katand. He accused the existing government of protecting the forest mafia and said that such an incident has shamed the State. He further said that this was not an isolated incident, even in the past various cases of such deforestation had come to light but the existing government instead of taking action against the culprits, blamed the whistle blowers and sentenced them to jail terms under various allegations against them, while giving a clean chit to the ones responsible for clandestine cutting of trees in the forests. This clearly indicates the current government’s protectionism stance towards the forest mafia existing in the state. He further recollected that in a case of clandestine tree felling in the Bilaspur forest range the DFO who had reported of the activity, with visual proof was threatened and beaten up by the mafia, but, unfortunately the perpetrators of the crime went cot free and no action was taken against them while the persons who reported and spoke up against this crime were conveniently transferred from their existing posts. He further added that the various mafioso like the transport, mining and the drug mafias are taking advantage of this fact and playing havoc with the state’s resources.