Forest official dies while trying to apprehend bandits in Cox's Bazar

A dump truck used to steal soil ran over Md Sajjaduzzaman and fled

Cox’s Bazar
Published : 31 March 2024, 05:42 AM
Updated : 31 March 2024, 05:42 AM

An official from the Forest Department has been killed after he was run over by a truck used by bandits to steal soil from the hills of a forest reserve in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya.

The incident occurred around 3:30am on Sunday in the Harinmara area of Rajapalong Union, said Gazi Shafiul Alam, an official from the Forest Department’s Ukhiya Range.

The victim has been identified as Md Sajjaduzzaman, 30, who was assigned to the Dosari Forest Beat. He hailed from Munshiganj’s Gajaria.

Forest conservationist Mohammad Ali, 27, was also injured in the incident.

“A group was cutting the hills in the Harinmara area early on Sunday morning and using a mini-truck to steal soil,” said Forest Department official Alam. “When the incident was reported, Sajjaduzzaman went to inspect the scene with a conservationist on a motorcycle.”

“A dump truck used to steal the soil rammed them and fled. Sajjaduzzaman died on the spot. Conservationist Mohammad Ali, who was accompanying him, suffered injuries.”

Locals rushed Ali to the Ukhiya Upazila Health Complex where he was admitted, the forest official said.

Md Sarwar Alam, the divisional forest officer of the Cox’s Bazar South Forest Department, came to inspect the scene early on Sunday after the incident was reported.

“Sajjad gave his life to protect the forests,” he said. “We have lost a skilled and hard-working official in a cruel manner.”

A joint initiative must be taken at this moment to protect forests, hills, and mountains from those who would destroy them, Sarwar said. “Otherwise, the forest will soon be destroyed and the environment will face disaster.”

Md Shameem Hossain, chief of Ukhiya Police Station, said police went to the scene and recovered the body once the incident was reported. Law enforcers are working to identify those involved and bring them to justice, he added.