Threats Cannot Save Mafia and Encroachers from This Lady Singham Forest Officer
- Muskan Khandelwal
- Published on 1 Nov 2023, 4:00 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
- 2010 batch IFS officer Basu Kannogia is famously known as ‘Lady Singham’ and ‘Encroachment Eviction Specialist'
- She has successfully reclaimed over 7,000 hectares of encroached forest land
- She is relentless in her pursuit of forest mafia, illegal settlers, miners, and wildlife smugglers
In the dense heartland of Madhya Pradesh, amidst the towering trees and elusive wildlife, there exists a fierce guardian, who fearlessly patrol the forested realms. Basu Kannogia, a 2010-batch Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, has earned the moniker of ‘Encroachment Eviction Specialist’ among her peers, owing to her relentless pursuit of forest mafia, illegal settlers, miners, and wildlife smugglers.
Speaking to Indian Masterminds, Ms. Kannogia, who is posted as DFO, North Seoni in Madhya Pradesh, shared about her work.
RECLAIMING ENCROACHED LANDS
Since assuming office in 2014, Ms. Kannogia has been on a relentless mission to combat the encroachment menace plaguing the lush landscapes of Madhya Pradesh. With an indomitable spirit and unyielding determination, she has spearheaded campaigns against unlicensed sale of trees, illegal settlements on forest lands, and other environmental infractions. Till now, Ms. Kannogia has successfully reclaimed over 7,000 hectares of encroached land, liberating these areas from the clutches of illegal occupiers.
VALUES INSTILLED IN CHILDHOOD
Ms. Kannogia’s upbringing played a pivotal role in shaping her sense of duty and commitment towards society. Raised in a household governed by strict rules, she imbibed the values of discipline and integrity from a tender age. Her father’s service in Uttar Pradesh’s administration exposed her to the transformative potential of government roles in uplifting society, ultimately guiding her towards a career in public service.
Despite her unwavering dedication, IFS officer Basu Kannogia has not been immune to the challenges that accompany her valiant efforts. She has become the target of threats and controversies, bearing the brunt of her courageous stance against the forest mafia and encroachers. Her staff members, who work alongside her on the field, face similar perils, receiving threatening calls and enduring attacks from villagers and local politicians. Despite these challenges, Ms. Kannogia remains undeterred, asserting, “No, why should we be scared? We are here to get the work done. We follow the procedure and work,” the officer told Indian Masterminds.
UNDETERRED BY THREATS
One of the significant obstacles faced by her and her team is the constant threat posed by local villagers and entities. Incidents of forest officials being beaten up by villagers have been reported not only in Ms. Kannogia’s division but across entire Madhya Pradesh. “In response to these challenges, we have had to seek assistance from the police to ensure their safety and continue with our mission undeterred,” she said.
Basu Kannogia, currently serving as the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) in North Seoni, Madhya Pradesh, stands as a beacon of courage and resilience in the face of adversity. Her unwavering commitment to upholding the law, protecting the environment, and securing the rights of the forest dwellers paints a portrait of an officer whose bravery transcends all man-made barriers. As she continues her battle against the forest mafia and the encroachment menace, Ms. Kannogia remains an inspiration, reminding the world that fearlessness and determination can indeed pave the way for positive change in society.
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