By Our Reporter
Pynursla: Cattle smuggling to Bangladesh has started with a vengeance. The smuggling is taking place along the international border in the East Khasi Hills sector. As a result beef is in short supply in Meghalaya even as butchers are threatening to hike the prices.
At least 15 to 20 vehicles loaded with cattle are passing through the Pynursla route in East Khasi Hills on a daily basis.
The cattle smugglers have been able to smuggle cattle to the neighbouring nation at the time when the police, BSF and Customs have set up a joint check post near the Pynursla police station.
A group of journalists from Shillong carried out a sting operation in the wee hours of Sunday at Pynursla area to expose the cattle smuggling racket.
The journalists witnessed that around 15 to 20 trucks carrying cattles are being smuggled to Bangladesh despite the presence of the BSF, Custom and Police personnel in the area.
The journalists also witnessed how the smugglers managed to give a slip to the police, BSF and Custom personnel by smuggling the cattle through an internal road of the village which is only few meters away from the police station.
In fact, the smugglers are able to avoid police scrutiny by adopting a new strategy ever since the joint check post was set up.
The smugglers operating from their hideout in Laitlyngkot would carry the cattles on trucks till Wah Umkhat near Pynursla.
After this, the cattle would be herded on foot through the road behind the petrol pump near the PHE Pynursla Water Supply project to the place behind the Pynursla betel nut market.
The smugglers would then keep the cattle in this place until past midnight before loading them again into the trucks.
The trucks would then move out from the place after midnight to carry them to Nongshken.
From Nongshken the cattle are again transported to Bangladesh on foot through Hat Thymnmai, Lyngkhat, Umiuh and Nongjri
Earlier, the cattle were smuggled through the road near the Pynursla station before the setting up of the joint check post.
Even though the villagers are all aware about this new strategy of the smugglers, the police, custom and BSF feign ignorance.
But the villagers allege that BSF, Customs and police are turning a blind eye on this cattle smuggling racket for reasons best known to them.
‘It is impossible that the police, BSF and Customs are not aware about all this since at least 15 to 20 trucks of cattle are smuggled to Bangladesh regularly. There are strong possibilities they are involved in this racket,” the villagers alleged.
Sources however ruled out that surrendered HNLC are currently involved in this racket as in the past.
Meanwhile, sources have alleged that a section of the members of the Pynursla Dorbar Shnong are also involved in this scam.
“They have given the cattle smugglers the permission to ply through the internal road of the village to smuggle the cattle. They have also allowed the smugglers to keep the cattle behind the Pynursla betel nut market,” sources alleged.
Last year, the police had arrested nine cattle smugglers from Pynursla area in East Khasi Hills District.
After this arrest, the smuggling of cattle had reduced drastically even though is continued in a small way.