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Unabated cow smuggling along Karimganj border

Former MLA shoots letter to Union Home Minister

Special Correspondent
Silchar, April 25: As the smuggling of cows and drugs continue unabated along Indo-Bangladesh border of Karimganj district and the silence of the State government over the issue despite a letter addressed to L S Changson, IAS, Principal Secretary, Home Department, Government of Assam, drawing her attention to it for preventive measures, Mission Ranjan Das, former MLA and chairman, Assam Industrial Development Corporation, has now brought it to the notice of the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh. Mission Ranjan Das refers to his letter of February 19 last addressed to the Principal Secretary of the State government and regrets that no steps have been taken to stop the menace along the border.
The problem of smuggling has assumed a serious dimension, affecting the normal and peaceful life of the people of the villages residing along the border. With no visible sign of action from the BSF and the second line of defence, police, the smugglers have become more than desperate to carry on their illegal activities. The letter in question identifies the hot spots along the border for easy monitoring, surveillance and vigilance and for taking up preventive measures. Madanpur tea estate is one of the tea gardens in close proximity to the international border from where 26 cows during the last month were smuggled out.
Among them was also a bull stolen from the Nayagram village close to the tea garden under Nilambazar police station of Karimganj district. Mission Ranjan Das along with party workers visited the tea estate on April 14 and organized a meeting with police personnel as well as the villagers. But, the anti-social and anti-national elements seem to have taken upper hand in the absence of any effective border management, raising question about the efficacy of second line of defence, village defence party and BSF. Two cows were again lifted from the trouble zone just two days after the awareness meeting in the village of Nayagram.
The border villagers have no divided opinion about the lifting of the cows by the daredevil smugglers and taken away to Bangladesh despite all the high talks of sealing and fencing of the border by the Union Home Ministry. The situation has come to such a pass due to the increasing anti-social activities of the anti-national elements that farmers in the bordering areas are now scared of going out for cultivation of their lands. It is the apprehension of people of the border areas the menace of cow smuggling will take a turn for the worse, throwing a challenge to the civil administration, leave aside the BSF which is responsible for manning and guarding the border.
It is also the responsibility of civil administration to act in collusion with the BSF to plug the holes along the international border to stop the menace of smuggling. Mission Ranjan Das repeated reference to a representation from the people of Latu, Balidara and Tesua under Karimganj police station which spoke of open smuggling of cows after they are brought from outside and unloaded near the spots of the border, namely Pathu and Baropara also under Karimganj police station. Those who try to stop the smugglers from their nefarious works are attacked and threatened with dire consequences.
The incidence of cow smuggling is not confined to one area, it is ever widening. Promode Nagar tea estate under Nilambazar police station is another vulnerable area for it. Specific instances have been mentioned in the letter of Mission Ranjan Das. Since, the problem is becoming more acute, the former MLA disappointed at the unresponsiveness of the State government has been forced to write to the Union Home Minister in the hope that specific measures would be initiated to contain and stop the menace. If this border crime is not brought under control, cow vigilantes might take advantage of it and complicate the issue, turning it into a major law and order problem.