SHILLONG, Mar 19: here are multiple aspects that led to the increase in cases of cattle smuggling from Dawki-Pyrdiwah-Lynkhat-Lyngkhong and Tukha stretch of Meghalaya located along the Indo-Bangladesh border, reports sentinelassam.com.
The Sentinel trekked through the areas located along the 'zero line' of the International boundary and move to the treacherous slopes to get the firsthand account on the rampant smuggling of cattle heads that originated largely from Rajasthan, U.P and Bihar.
The demand for cattle in Bangladesh has grown tremendously in the past five years and quite a few the Meghalaya traders with traditional trading liaisons with the Bangladesh counterparts get engrossed in the booming cattle market.
These cattle are oxen (and not cows) with a demand of 35,000 takas (Bangladesh currency) for the smaller ones and around 85-90,000 takas for the bigger ones.
Knowing the topography as well as the unfenced international borders, the cattle smugglers simply needed to transport the cattle from the comfortable hideout before shepherding them through the thick beetle nut and broomstick cultivations towards the border.
These safe hideouts are located in areas adjacent to Pongtung, Riwai, Nohwet,Nongjri and other villages located just below Pynursla. It was the shepherding process of the cattle heads through the terrain, but the hired laborers simply said that they are simply caretakers of the Malik.
There are at least 25-30 odd cattle consignment unloading places that this correspondent noticed in upland areas locating merely 8-9 Kms of a crow fly from the Indo- Bangladesh border.
Interestingly, the smugglers procured the cattle's in the garb of domestic consumption, stated a Central custom official, who added, "since there can be no official restriction on movement of cattle in the hinterland in a "beef eating' state like Meghalaya, unwanted elements uses these flaws that has created a problem in checking international smuggling.
BSF officials said, "Movements of cattle is such that we have deflected ourselves from the purported line of duty". "We have an unfenced porous border filled with our protocol to guard the frontiers, but off late we have to going after cattle". In the intervening night of 16th and 17th of March, the sentinel learns that there were 22 cattle were seized from Lyngkhat-Nayabazaar area.