MIRPUR (AJK) - The Mirpur Division administration launched inquiry into a terrible jungle fire in Kotli district of Azad Jammu Kashmir.

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan on Tuesday appointed Divisional Commissioner Muhammad Tayyeb to probe the massive fire that broke out in thick forests at various places in Kotli district of Mirpur division, official sources said.

Farooq Haider, while taking stringent notice of the fire blazing in the forests in Kotli district, had suspended eight officials of the AJK Forests Department for dereliction of duties through their blatant failure to control the fire. The prime minister directed the inquiry officer to investigate the matter and submit a report within fortnightly.

The State Forests Department officers suspended from service include Conservator Mirpur Circle Sye Prime d Gul Hussain Shah, Deputy Forest Officer Kotli Division Imran Sadiq, Range Officer Kotli Nakiyal, Raja Sajid Iqbal, DFO Mirpur Division Raja Jahanzaib Khizar, Range Officer Chirhoi Raja Sait Khan, Range Officer Naar Range Mehmood, Range Officer Dhadiyal Range Khalid Shehzad.

When contacted, Divisional  Commissioner said that besides  the suspended officers of the AJK Forests Department, all concerned officials and witnesses were being summoned, through notices, to appear for inquiry for onward submission of the inquiry report.

Meanwhile, official sources also confirmed terrible fire broke out in the Forests of Samani valley in Bhimbher district and Sehensa in Kotli district.

The AJK Forest Department Authorities hoodwinked the AJK Prime Minister about the jungle fire in Samani valley and Sehnsa town of Bhimbher and Kotli district respectively to save the skin of the concerned Forest Department Officers incharge of these areas from probe.