West Bengal: Cow vigilantes accuse Trinamool Congress, police of cattle smuggling
Cow vigilante groups in Asansol have alleged that the police and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) are active participants in the cattle smuggling racket in West Bengal.
Asansol (West Bengal): The districts around the border between West Bengal and Jharkhand bear witness to new, innovative methods of cattle smuggling on a regular basis. The border crossings at Asansol in the Paschim Bardhaman district of West Bengal are particularly hotspots of this illegal trade.
Birbhum and Murshidabad districts are the other hotspots of cattle smuggling in West Bengal. Cow vigilante groups in Asansol have alleged that the police and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) are active participants in the cattle smuggling racket in the state.
According to them, cattle smuggling has increased overnight from Jharkhand into Asansol. The Jharkhand Police conduct regular raids at the border check posts. Pickup vans loaded with cattle were detained four times in the last two months.
But once the vehicles enter West Bengal, they seem to vanish into thin air. Despite the serious nature of the problem, it is as if there is no issue of cattle smuggling in West Bengal. As if there is no such thing as cattle trafficking.
“This cattle smuggling is being done with the help of the police. The police themselves deliver the cows to the traffickers. If we catch them while cattle smuggling, a case is filed to put pressure on us,” a member of a local cow protection committee told the media.
“We caught cattle smugglers here at different times in 2014-2015. But instead of punishing the culprits, the police file cases against us. In 2014 we had recovered around 1500 cows in Egra village. Then those cows were taken to Nirja village. After three days, the police beat up some of our boys. Then 51 lorries and JCBs took the cows to Bangladesh with the active co-operation of the police. What will the people do when the police-administration is inactive?” he added.
The West Bengal unit of the BJP also accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of encouraging cattle smuggling in the state.
“Asansol is being made a safe corridor for cattle smuggling. Dilip Ghosh has made the right claim. Cattle trafficking is often spotted by the common people. But the police is always inactive in such cases. The police are silent here and give full protection to criminals,” BJP district secretary Abhijit Roy said.
However, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has denied any involvement in cattle smuggling.
“Nirsa is in Jharkhand. We have news that these cows are imported from Chausa in Bihar. So let Uttar Pradesh, Bihar stop cattle smuggling first,” Trinamool Congress (TMC) block president Gurudas Chattopadhyay said.
Acting on a tip-off, the CID’s narcotics unit sleuths along with the Dakshin Dinajpur Detective Department conducted a raid in the district headquarters and apprehended the person from the Balurghat public bus stand area on Wednesday
A senior police official told the media that the incident took place in the Bhupatinagar area, 1.5 km from Contai town in the Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal, where Trinamool Congress (TMC) national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was scheduled to address a public meeting