Terming cattle smuggling an “organised crime”, the BSF today said it will be more active in registering FIRs and naming culprits therein, to further clamp down on this illegal activity, “worth hundreds of crores”, across the Indo-Bangla border.
Border Security Force (BSF) Director General K K Sharma said its field commanders and other top brass have been directed to meet state police officials and ask them to take these FIRs to their logical legal conclusion.
“We are trying to talk to all the stakeholders to curb this menace. We have spoken to the DGP of West Bengal and local police officials. This is an organised crime… the man who eventually pushes the cattle across the borders is a very lowly paid courier. We have lodged hundreds of cases in the recent past against cattle smuggling instances.
“We have urged police to conduct investigations and check the sources of money in this illegal trade,” Sharma said at the conclusion of the bi-annual talks with their Bangladeshi counterparts BGB.
The BSF has various “limitations” in ensuring full crackdown on this illegal trade worth “hundreds of crores”, he said.
“We do not have powers to investigate. Hence, we have been essentially lodging FIRs in these cases and also naming the people involved. We are strengthening this process further and asking the police to get full investigation done that ensures the culprits are prosecuted,” the BSF DG said.
Cattle are reaching states like West Bengal, bordering Bangladesh, from the hinterland. Slaughter is not banned in West Bengal, hence there is no bar on cattle coming from various states, Sharma said.
The force has suffered several causalties while checking this cross-border crime. Three BSF jawans have been killed while 150 injured since last year while checking cattle smuggling along this 4,096-km-long border India shares with Bangladesh, he said.
BSF officials have earlier said there has been a 70 per cent fall in cattle smuggling incidents along this border over the last year after the border guarding force began a big crackdown.