Cong asks Vijayan to reveal ‘Dharmadom’ connection in illegal tree felling case


For the past few days the name ‘Dharmadom’ is being heard over and over again in the alleged felling of centuries-old rosewood and other trees in Kerala’s Wayanad district worth over Rs 170 crore.

Dharmadom in Kannur district is now the centre of attraction for more reasons than one as it is the assembly constituency of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. On Wednesday, Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan asked Vijayan to come clean on the role of ‘Dharmadom’ in the illegal tree felling case.

On Wednesday morning call records of a journalist, Deepak Dharmadom working for a leading Malayalam TV news channel, surfaced of his speaking to the accused in the cases, all brothers.

Forest official N.T. Sajan whose role has now become suspicious for having allegedly helped the three brothers, also hails from Dharmadom. His call records have revealed that there was something going on between them.

Even though there has been an adverse report against Sajan prepared by his own department, so far no action has been taken apart from a transfer.

And what came as a shocker to many was Deepak releasing a picture of him standing with Vijayan at the latter’s residence during the recently concluded Onam festival.

“Vijayan now has to come clean on the Dharmadom connection in the illegal tree felling case. The call records of two Dharmadom ‘residents’ in this case have made the controversial forest official’s role very clear, but Vijayan is not acting. We urge him to take action,” said Satheesan.

The tree felling spree took place in October last year using an order of the revenue department (October 2020) to help hapless farmers seeking permission to cut trees on their land .

But seeing what was happening the order was withdrawn on February 2, 2021) because of its misuse.

Vijayan then announced a Crime Branch probe and when that was heading nowhere came the call records on Wednesday.