Border dwellers paid to smooth the way for smuggling: BSF

‘Kingpins seated in Shillong, Kolkata, Delhi’

SHILLONG, Nov 21: In its continuing bid to flag the issue of cattle smuggling with the connivance of bigger hands, the BSF on Saturday said that youths from the state as well as landowners, who live along the international border, are being remunerated to facilitate smuggling of cattle.
“30-35 trucks pass through Shillong on an average towards the international border where Indian nationals, aged 16-17 years, are getting Rs 100 to move the cattle from trucks to the border,” a BSF official, on the request of anonymity, said.
“Those owners of the land, which is used as a transit by the smugglers to take the cattle along the border, are also paid,” the official added.
When asked if it is a big scam with bigger players involved, the official said, “Is is a hundred per cent scam and everyone knows about it. The kingpins are seated in Kolkata, Delhi and even Shillong.”
According to the statistics available with the BSF, a seizure of Rs 16,83,09,680 was made in the state in 2019 while the total cost of cattle seized till October this year is Rs 33,199,5107.
“On an average, one cattle is sold for Rs 50,000 in Bangladesh and during Eid, the cost goes up to Rs 1 lakh,” the official said.
There is no denial that the cases of cattle smuggling to Bangladesh through Meghalaya have been on the rise, that too right under the nose of law enforcing agencies.
Informing that the cattle come all the way from Haryana and other parts, the BSF official questioned as to how the trucks plying through various states and check points go undetected.
Pointing out that the Supreme Court had recently stopped the auctioning of the seized cattle, the official said the cattle are handed over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and are stationed near the international border.
The official, however, questioned the SPCA, who claims that two to three cattle are missing on a daily basis from its possession while many are said to have died.
“Questions have to be asked and they (SPCA) have to be held accountable because if this continues at this rate, soon all the cattle under their possession will be declared disappeared. There is much more to it,” he added.
Informing that the BSF had a Sonapur Mobile Check Post along the Ratacherra Road in East Jaintia Hills, where the BSF personnel had made a lot of seizure, the official said, “Recently, we were told to vacate from the area by the state administration, and we did”.

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