Surat : Sandalwood Smugglers Strike at Historic Gandhi Baug
In a daring act under the cover of darkness, sandalwood smugglers struck the garden on early Friday morning, successfully chopping down three mature sandalwood trees located near the garden gate.
Surat: The Surat Municipal Corporation’s (SMC) Garden Department is facing severe scrutiny and criticism following its inability to thwart sandalwood thieves, locally known as ‘Pushpa,’ from targeting the historic Gandhi Baug.
In a daring act under the cover of darkness, sandalwood smugglers struck the garden on early Friday morning, successfully chopping down three mature sandalwood trees located near the garden gate. This incident serves as a grim reminder of a similar theft that occurred two years ago when two sandalwood trees were stolen from the same location.
The lapse in security arrangements by the Garden Department authorities has raised serious questions about their ability to protect valuable assets within the city. It appears that valuable lessons were not learned from the previous sandalwood theft, leaving the Gandhi Baug vulnerable once again.
Sources close to the investigation revealed that the sandalwood thieves were well-prepared, equipped with electric tree cutters. In less than 20 minutes, they managed to cut down the sandalwood trees and make their escape under the cover of darkness.
Suspicion has fallen on the security personnel assigned to Gandhi Baug, as the Athwa police station is located just a stone’s throw away from the scene of the crime. The fact that the thieves were able to operate with impunity so close to a police station has raised concerns about the effectiveness of security measures in place.
Local residents and authorities are calling for immediate action to rectify the security lapses and prevent further incidents of sandalwood theft in Surat’s historic locations. The theft not only poses a financial loss but also threatens the cultural and historical significance of the city’s landmarks.
The Surat Municipal Corporation and law enforcement agencies are now under pressure to investigate the matter thoroughly, identify the culprits, and enhance security measures to safeguard the valuable sandalwood trees at Gandhi Baug and other locations in the city.