Kochi: The key accused in Muttil tree felling case Roji Augustine is absconding, the probe team informed. Roji’s mobile phone is switched off from Monday at 10 am. The probe team has found out that he had a brief visit to Kalamassery area in Ernakulam at 10.30 pm on Monday.
The high court had dismissed the bail plea of the accused the other day. The court inquired how many people were arrested as 701 cases were registered in connection with Muttil tree felling case.
At present, only the Crime Branch and the forest department are investigating the case. The probe team only reported that key accused Roji Augustine is absconding.
The court was irked over the delay in the arrest of the culprits.
The Advocate General (AG) informed the court that they could not be nabbed yet due to the Covid situation. When the AG informed the court that one of the accused obtained bail, the court directed to file an affidavit in connection with the case. With this, the government will have to submit an affidavit by next Monday.
The court also observed that 300 trees were chopped down and they were not planted by the farmers. Why did the government fail to arrest the culprits though it was clear that tree felling was illegal, the court asked.