SHILLONG, Jan 18: Beef sellers in the state under the banner of Khasi Jaintia Butchers Welfare Association (KJBWA) will shut shop for a fortnight in protest against the failure of the authorities to stop the smuggling of cattle to neighbouring Bangladesh.
According to the KJBWA, the strike will be in force from today (Jan 18) till February 3.
The KJBWA, also informed that after February 3, the sale of beef will resume but the rate will have to be hiked.
“We can’t stop selling beef forever. This is our livelihood,” KJBWA, vice-president, Generious Warlarpih told the media today.
Warlarpih informed that due to the high demand of beef in Bangladesh, the cattle traders from Assam are not anymore willing to sell their cattle to the local beef vendors at Khapara (Ri-Bhoi) cattle market.
“We are not able to buy the cattle since these have been specially stipulated to be smuggled into Bangladesh,” Warlarpih alleged adding that there is very high demand for beef in Bangladesh.
According to the members of the KJBWA at the moment the rate of beef in the state is Rs 280 per kilogram (with bones) and Rs 320 per kilogram (boneless).
The KJBWA said that it was estimated that around 20 truck load of cattle are smuggled into Bangladesh on a daily basis from the cattle market at Khapara. In each truck 17 to 18 cattle are horded.
The cattle destined for Bangladesh are dropped either at Laitlyngkot or Pynursla in East Khasi Hils district.
The KJBWA, vice-president also informed that for one day on January 21, the members of the association will sell beef which they had bought from an auction by the Customs Department.
“We will share among ourselves the 74 cattle which we bought at an auction by the Customs department,” Warlarpih informed.
It may be mentioned that last week the East Khasi Hills police seized 126 cattle out of which 74 were initially kept at Pynursla police station and brought to Shillong for auctioning.
He however alleged that the 52 cattle which were kept at Mawngap outpost and subsequently auctioned maged to reach its intended destition.
“We know for sure that the 52 cattle was bought by one person who is not our member and were subsequently smuggled into Bangladesh,” Warlarpih alleged.
Meanwhile, the KJBWA appreciated the East Khasi Hills police for being proactive and seizing the 126 cattle.