Dhamdhere Dhanraj Hanumant, an Indian Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer from the 2016-batch, displayed enormous courage and dived into a pond in Odisha’s Dhushma village to recover smuggled timbers worth Rs 4 lakh.

The smuggled logs were of the much valuable sal trees.

Hanumant is the divisional forest officer at Nayagarh forest division. He was tipped off about the smuggling of large sal logs in the Dhushma village. Hanumant immediately sent the forest ranger to verify the information.

On investigation, the forest ranger could figure out that the villagers were using buffaloes to drag the heavy logs for smuggling. Hanumant asked the forest ranger to follow the drag marks, which seemed to disappear near a pond.

“He said the drag marks were not there. When I personally went to the village, I saw the marks disappearing near a pond. I told my staff to enter the pond and recover the logs as they would be there. But no one was ready to go. They were scared as a few years ago the timber mafia had killed a forester and injured five forest officials. So there was fear among our staff who said the local villagers would gherao them,” Hanumant, the officer who fearlessly dived into the pond, said as quoted by Hindustan Times.