Cattle smuggling to Bangladesh completely stopped from southern Bengal front: BSF report

The data report says that no cattle have been smuggled in, no government auction of cattle could take place this year in the Bangladeshi corridors opposite this border like Jessore, Kushtia and Rajshahi.

There have been no incidents of cattle smuggling into Bangladesh this year from one of the country’s most notorious fronts, West Bengal, a first since the Modi government said in 2014 that crime must stop at all. price.

The Kolkata-based South Bengal Border Border Security Force (BSF) is responsible for guarding 913.32 km from the India-Bangladesh (IB) international border out of a total of 4096 km, crossing five states and has recorded official figures claim that no cattle were smuggled from his side until May 2021.

The former Union Minister of the Interior and current Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh, while serving as the main guest of the 49th day of lifting of the BSF on December 1, 2014 in Delhi, had to First told the force that it “should stop the smuggling of cows and cattle to this border at all costs.” He reiterated this position at various other public events, although similar claims have been made by other ministers and chief ministers of the BJP. Data shared with BSF Headquarters in Delhi and the Union Home Office was accessed by PTI and he says there has been a “significant” drag on this crime under this front, which previously accounted for 75% of the total cattle smuggling prevalent along this border.

This border has jurisdiction over five West Bengal border districts: North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda, and only 405 km or 44.34% of the border is fenced as much of it is riverside, has charlands and at some places villages are right on the IB.

The data indicates that while 710 head of cattle were seized by BSF staff up to May of this year, a steady decline was observed with 51,443 seizures in 2017, 38,657 in 2018, 29,720 in 2019 and 5,445. cattle seized last year.

He adds that zero numbers of cattle reached Bangladesh from this front this year through May and a similar drop in those numbers was seen from 8.69 lakh in 2017, 5.22 lakh in 2018. , 1.23 lakh in 2019 and 3,628 last year.

The data report says that no cattle have been smuggled, no government auction of cattle could take place this year in the Bangladeshi corridors opposite this border like Jessore, Kushtia and Rajshahi.

Chief Border Inspector General (IG) Ashwini Kumar Singh said the numbers were credible when asked about the authenticity of the data.

“This data is almost reliable … this is such a long front (under our jurisdiction) and maybe 2-4 cattle have gone unnoticed [to Bangladesh] but I can guarantee that none of the cross-border cattle smugglers succeeded this year. “We have reduced cattle smuggling to zero from 75% of total cross-border cattle smuggling to Bangladesh in recent years,” Singh said.

The data adds that due to the decline in cattle smuggling, the leather, beef and porcelain manufacturing industry in Bangladesh has suffered “a lot of losses” and the government has encouraged local animal husbandry. in order to empower farmers and other pastoralists.

IG Singh said the “achievement” was the effort of a three-pronged strategy adopted by the force which included motivating field staff, verifying their connivance with the smugglers and developing new strategies. operational. “I told my men that we are here to stop this crime and that we have to stop it completely. They worked hard, ”he said.

While the IG declined to say how many BSF staff have been arrested and punished for going hand in hand with the smugglers, official sources said the numbers were “substantial”. BSF’s additional (eastern) director general Pankaj Kumar Singh told reporters in Calcutta in January that three members of the forces had been suspended and six transferred for their alleged involvement in cattle trafficking.

BSF South Bengal IG (intelligence) deputy SS Guleria said that “effective border guards have made it possible to completely stop the smuggling of cattle into Bangladesh from this front which has been unfolding from the four last decades or so “.

“We are using the gains made in cattle smuggling to control other cross-border crimes such as human and drug trafficking,” said Bravery Medalist Mr. Guleria.

According to official data, the South Bengal border registered around 400 police FIRs against cattle smugglers or smuggling cases and conducted around 30 joint operations with other law enforcement agencies between 2018 and 2020.

A senior Home Office official, however, said that while the numbers of cattle smuggling across the Indo-Bangladesh border dropped significantly in early 2019, it was “work in progress. course “to ensure that the numbers are brought down to zero in other areas such as the rest of Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Official records show that a total of 46,809 cattle were seized along the border with Bangladesh in 2020, while figures updated to May this year stand at 9,434.

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