The Uttarakhand Police on Saturday arrested three people from Bihar for allegedly promoting forest fires in the state, officials said.
According to the police, a video came to light after it went viral on social media platforms wherein the three youths were promoting forest fires.
In the purported video, a youth can be heard saying, “Nobody challenges those who play with fire…and Biharis are never challenged.”
The accused have been identified as Brijesh Kumar, Salman and Shukhlal, all three residents of Bihar.
“They were booked under section 26 of the Indian Forest Act of 1927 and several other sections of the Indian Penal Code,” the officials added.
The incident took place in the Chamoli district’s Gairsain area, the district SP Sarvesh Panwar said.
He further appealed people to not to indulge in setting fire in the forests or promote it as it is a punishable crime.
“Those who will not adhere to law, will be punished,” the district SP added.
Earlier in the day, Uttarakhand Director General of Police (DGP), Uttarakhand, Abhinav Kumar that several cases have been registered in nine districts in connection with forest fires in the state.

In accordance with a coordinated plan, the Police and Forest Departments will identify the areas impacted by forest fires and look into whether the flames started accidentally or on purpose, said the official.
The Uttarakhand DGP in conversation with ANI on forest fires in the state said, “It is to be noted that 70 per cent of Uttarakhand is covered with forests. This makes forest and wildlife protection a matter of top priority not only for the forest department but also for the police department.”
“We have taken the issue of forest fires in various forests throughout the state extremely seriously, based on the information we have received about them this year,” he said.
Earlier this week, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami stressed the need for advance preparations to deal with forest fire incidents in the state, noting that the responsibilities of all the senior officers from the headquarters should be fixed, as should the district officers and there should be complete control over it.
Amid incidents of forest fire reported in the state, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami convened a review meeting at Uttarakhand Sadan, New Delhi, on May 4.
The meeting focused on strategies to tackle forest fires, address the drinking water crisis, and ensure smooth preparations for the Chardham Yatra.
The state has recently witnessed an alarming increase in forest fires, prompting concerns about environmental safety and the impact on local communities.
As per reports, forest fires have become an annual feature and the change in weather conditions has resulted in soaring temperatures.
Uttarakhand starts experiencing forest fires in mid-February when the trees shed dry leaves and the soil loses moisture due to a temperature rise, and this continues till mid-June. (ANI)