MeraNews Network, Gandhinagar: The forest department on Monday arrested two persons trying to smuggle Kher (Senegalia Catechu) wood out of Dediapada block in Narmada district of Gujarat. A patrolling team led by regional forest officer JK Parmar detained the driver and cleaner of the truck, having a Nadiad registration, and have charged them under Indian Forest Act and seized the wood and the vehicle they were transporting it in.

Parmar and his team were on their morning when they spotted a truck moving suspiciously. The intercepted the truck upon checking, found out 2.85 cubic metres Kher wood hidden beneath sacks of rice husk. They arrested driver Ismail Khan and cleaner Firoj Khan and charged them under the Indian Forest Act for trying to illegally transport wood.

The worth of the seized wood, 2.85 cubic metre, is pegged at Rs 80,000. Kher’s heartwood is used to extract Kattha (catechu), an important flavouring ingredient in paan. Its wood is also used as firewood and is highly valued for furniture and tools.