CBI To Investigate Cow Smuggling At Indo-Bangladesh Border
The Central Bureau of Investigation, Kolkata, is set to conduct an investigation on the growing cow smuggling in West Bengal-Bangladesh border and register a suo moto case against the traders who are suspected to be involved in the illegal business.
The decision of the investigation came after the Border Security Force (BSF) submitted a report to the Ministry of Home Affairs describing the rampant increase in the cow smuggling in Indo-Bangladesh border. MHA then ordered the CBI, Kolkata, to conduct a separate probe to address the issue.
“The agency said after being challenged, the suspects, instead of fleeing, retaliated and attacked BSF personnel on several occasions. Four months ago, a BSF jawan’s border guard’s hand was blown up when he was hit with a crude bomb at Basirhat in North 24-Parganas district,” a CBI officer told The New Indian Express.
The CBI officials also mentioned that BSF alleged in the report that a section of gram panchayat was also involved in the illicit trade. “Our aim will be identifying those who are involved in cattle smuggling directly or indirectly. If we find evidence against anyone, we will not wait for a complainant to turn up and lodge a formal complaint. Instead, we will lodge an FIR suo moto and take lawful action against the accused,” said another CBI officer.
Method Adopted By The Smugglers
The smugglers adopted a peculiar way to carry the trade right under the nose of the BSF by tying animals to rafts and sent them across the river.
“Tens of thousands of cattle are estimated to be smuggled in Bangladesh. We found the heads of the bovines were placed between two banana tree trunks and bound together before they were pushed in the water from where the current took them to Bangladesh. Improvised explosive devices were also found attached to the rope tied to the animals’ neck,” a BSF official said.
The reports of cow smuggling menace have surfaced for the second time in 2019. Earlier in July, BSF recovered cows with improvised explosive devices (IED) tied around their necks aimed at the troops who try to seize them.
In March 2019, BSF troops recovered 53 cattle worth Rs 10.5 lakh in a contraband trade happening along the border of Bengal-Bangladesh.
Fall In Trade?
Last year in July, BSF director-general KK Sharma said that numbers had continually dropped since 2014, with the force seizing 1.11 lakh cattle heads across the 4,156-km border in 2017, down from 1.74 in 2016.
By January 2018, the trade had shrunk from Rs 9,000 crore to just Rs 1,600 crore, analysed the BSF.
However, this year in July, BSF admitted a spike in trade in Meghalaya Frontier.