Cow smuggling on the rise in Cooch Behar
People fear to protest due to administrative reluctance
Smuggling of cows is getting higher in the India-Bangladesh international border area yet again and in accordance with the local administration, smugglers are taking advantage of fogginess to smuggle cows across the international border in Cooch Behar. While hundreds of cows are being smuggled almost on a daily basis, BSF or Border Security Force remains inactive thanks to the weather. The unfenced border at Cooch Behar has added fuel to the fire and if sources are to be believed, despite deployment of more personnel, BSF is finding it almost impossible to put an end to the smuggling.
On the word of Daljit Singh Sandhu, DIG of BSF, increase in smuggling of cows during winter is quite natural but now it is getting bigger now owing to dense fog and the inability of BSF is being exploited best. Areas with unfenced border are having a tough time, indeed. And the worst affected areas are Panchadaji, Kharija Haridam, Siuti areas at Gitaldaha within Dinhata. Jhaukuthi, Azmpara and Krishnapur in Tufangunj have become the latest centers of smuggling.
It is worthwhile to mention, the international border between India and Bangladesh at Cooch Behar covers 549.45 kilometer but only 300 kilometer has been fenced yet. On the other hand, Gitaldaha in Dinhata contains an open tract of nine and half kilometer in the form of watercourse while it turns into 27 kilometer in Tufangunj. This entire area is under the jurisdiction of eight police stations including Haldibari, Mekhligunj, Dinhata, Kuchlibari and Mathabhanga. However, the stringent vigilance has failed to contain the saga of smuggling and contrary to expectations, its venomous tentacles are increasing by leaps and bounds.
According to an officer of BSF ( on condition of anonymity), even after repeated pleas, the task of fencing the international border between India and Bangladesh is yet to be finished and unless this job is done, the desire to end smuggling of cows remains a far dream only. Apart from this, watercourse remains another suitable area to go on with the smuggling and due to fog, it’s almost unfeasible to inhibit smuggling. He also stated that any cow purchased at Rs. 5, 000 in this side of the border is sold at Rs. 10, 000 on the other side. If, for example, a jersey cow is purchased at Rs. 12, 000 its price gets more than double on the other side. No less than 500 cows are being smuggled through each point, these days.
It is needless to mention, indigenous population in the area happens to be worst sufferers to this notorious trade of smuggling cows. Not a day passes when conflicts between smugglers or their agents and indigenous people do not get bitter. As per people inhabiting the areas adjacent to the international border, at several occasions, smugglers are abetted by people from Bangladesh and random uses of lethal weapons scare people here. And the affright or reign of terror is such that even if smugglers prefer to use terrains of households, dwellers can’t protest out of fear. Well, seldom there have been fiery protests also. But local administration prefers to remain a mute spectator curbing morale of people to fight back.
Hindu Samhati regularly monitors and reports violations against Hindus in West Bengal. We also work with both governmental and NGO agencies for proper education on protection and ensure remedies to the Hindu populace as per prevailing law of the land.