After the rescue of 23-year-old trekker Babu from a forest in Kerala last week, two state Ministers on Monday, February 14 said that violations by those who go trekking without proper permissions would not be tolerated by the Forest and other departments anymore. State Forest Minister AK Saseendran said that the consideration that was shown to Babu will not be given to those who break the rules to engage in trekking.
Incidentally, soon after Babu was discharged from the hospital after being rescued, Forest Department officials had decided to proceed against him for violating forest rules. But it was Minister Saseendran who came to Babu's rescue after his mother pleaded that no action be taken, and the department officials then withdrew.
"Proper rules and regulations will be there and violators will be taken to task," said Saseendran.
Babu, who had got trapped in a fault line in the Cherad hills in Palakkad on February 7, was rescued by army personnel. He was given a hero's welcome at the hospital. In media interviews, Babu said if given training, he would even climb Mount Everest. However, he was trolled on social media, where his act was called out as foolish. Users pointed out that the rescue operation cost the state exchequer a staggering sum of Rs 7.5 million, as a team of Army officials came from Tamil Nadu besides which two helicopters had to be pressed into service.
However, on Sunday night, Forest officials were surprised to see torchlights on top of the same hillock from where Babu fell.
The State Revenue Minister K Rajan also took a tough stance and said henceforth no one will get the consideration that Babu got, and added that all the 14 district authorities have been asked to take appropriate measures towards this.