HA NOI (VNS) — A truck driver who deliberately drove his vehicle into a forest ranger captain on duty, killing him on the spot on Sunday, deserves severe punishment, Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat has said.
In an urgent communique sent to authorities in the Central Highlands Province of Lam Dong on Monday, he asked them to quickly investigate the incident and mete out strict punishment.
He said severe punishment was needed to deter others from acting against officers on duty in the future.
The murder is said to have occurred when Captain Vu Xuan Hai and his team of forest rangers were on patrol in Da Teh District's Quoc Oai Commune.
Suspecting a truck of illegally carrying timber, Hai signaled for the driver to stop for inspection.
The driver ignored the signal and hit Hai with his truck, it was reported. Hai died on the spot. The driver, whose identity has not been released, was arrested by district police soon after the incident.
Hai has been known as a forest ranger captain who has taken strong action against poachers for many years, trying to stop them from destroying local forests.
Minister Phat also sent a letter of condolence to Hai's family on Monday. He said Hai's fighting spirit and bravery has set an example for other forest rangers in the country.
This is not the first time that poachers have intentionally harmed law-enforcement officers.
On March 11 this year, two poachers ignored an order by a group of forest rangers in the Central Highlands Province of Dak Nong and drove their motorbikes right into the rangers. One of the rangers died on the way to a local hospital. — VNS