SHILLONG, Aug 26: Cattle smugglers in Meghalaya never hesitate to abandon the smuggled cattle and vehicles used for ferrying cattle, when they are intercepted by security men.
When this correspondent accompanied the Border Security Force (BSF) special operations on Wednesday night in the fringes of the Intertiol border around 90 km from here discovered that the intercepted smugglers don’t mind to abandon the cattle and trucks.
“Abandoning the cattle heads and vehicles is normal because the purported smugglers have earned and will earn more from their illegal activities that they carry out from the unfenced and treacherous interl border,” stated one of the official involved in the special operations that led to the recovery of 64 oxen and three tucks on the intervening night of August 22 and 23 in Nongshken and Tuka area located along he intertiol border in East Khasi Hills.
Source said some of the kingpin of cattle smuggling to Bangladesh are well known people from the southern slopes of the district. They operate in many garbs, usually attributing every intercepted cattle heads well inside the Intertiol border as destine to villages ’for local consumption’.
The cattle smugglers procured the cattle right from the regulated market at Khapara and beyond the state boundary to sustain the every demanding market in Bangladesh.
The involvement of a certain section of the border populace in assisting the smugglers is also quite apparent. In an inhabited areca nut orchard situated just about two km from the Indo-Bangladesh border, 25 odd men were rounded at 2 am in the morning.
When asked by The Sentinel, they said they are on the way back after attending the weekly market at Haat Thymmai (ya bazaar). Infarct, the area is the place for downloading the oxen from seized truck.
Going by the subtle revelations of those who interacted with this correspondent, the demand for cattle heads at a much higher price in Bangladesh prior to the festive months drives them to partake in the illegal activities that provide higher wages.
Ahead of Eid, the BSF carried an anti-cattle smuggling drive, the BSF on Friday seized another 107 oxen from the same vulnerable route that has witnessed huge seizures in the past.
In another incident, the troops of BSF deployed at Gopithkilla, South West Garo Hills districts and Kaithako, South West Khasi Hills district, seized 17 cattle while being smuggled out to Bangladesh.
The smugglers maged to escape taking the advantage of darkness and dense bushes. Smugglers are using different disguised techniques to smuggle the cattle from India to Bangladesh but BSF troops are alert and well trained to foil such attempts of smugglers.