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2 trucks loads of cattle being smuggled to Bangladesh seized in Ri Bhoi

NONGPOH: Despite the decision of Khasi Jaintia Butchers’ Welfare Association to stop buying cattle from the Khanapara cattle market in Ri Bhoi district, yet two trucks suspected to be transporting cattle illegally to Bangladesh, were apprehended on Friday night at Mawtnum in Ri Bhoi District.

The two trucks bearing registration number AS 01BC 7588 and AS01DC8457 transporting cattle from Khanapara Cattle Market was first detected by members of the Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF) who later informed the members of the FKJGP, KJBWA and the two trucks were apprehended on reaching Mawtnum village.

When the KJBWA and NGO leaders enquired from the drivers of the two truck, it was learnt that none of them could provide the exact details of their destination which put doubts that these cattle were supposed to be smuggled into Bangladesh.

Later, Police were informed of the incident and after talks with the Superintendent of Police of Ri Bhoi, the KJBWA and NGO leaders were allowed to take custody of the cattle and transported to slaughter house at Mawiong for safe custody in order to verify the owners of the cattle involved in this illegal business.

Later, on the same night four more trucks transporting cattle were detected at Umroi bypass. However, the KJBWA and NGO leaders could apprehend only three, whereas one of the trucks fled away and could not be apprehended.

Interestingly, though the state government through the Veterinary Department had instructed the veterinary doctor to issue health certificate of the cattle only once in a week, that is only during the market day, yet all of these apprehended trucks were having a certificate signed and sealed by the District Training Officer of the AH & Veterinary Department, Vocational Training Center, Manai (I/c Cattle Market), which the KJBWA members demanded from the concerned authority of the Veterinary Department to conduct an enquiry and find out those involved in issuing this fake certificate even on a non-market day.

Members of the KJBWA had from time to time alleged that the rising cost of cattle in the state is because of the alleged illegal smuggling to Bangladesh by few vested interests and that the Government, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Syiem of Hima Mylliem did nothing in this regard which is a matter of great concerned.

They also alleged that because most of these cattle were illegally smuggled to Bangladesh, it is quite difficult for them to get cattle from the Khanapara Cattle Market, and that they have incurred huge losses coming three, four times a week to bought cattle despite the market being open once in a week.

 Meanwhile, on Saturday, one person identified as K Rani, who claimed to be owners of the cattle of two trucks, which were apprehended at Mawtnum come forward at Nongpoh Police Station along with leaders of the KJBWA and FKJGP.

When asked on the details of the cattle and where he was supposed to sell those, K Rani could not answer and just informed that he was new to this business and that he used to sell these cattle to the local butchers there at Lad Rymbai. Surprisingly, when the KJBWA leaders asked K Rani on the names of those local butchers, he could not name them, which has strongly suggested that these cattle were supposed to be smuggled to Bangladesh.

Later on, K Rani confessed to the KJBWA and NGO leaders that he is just an agent and namesake, but the real owner is a non-tribal from Assam. He also informed that he used to get a handsome amount of money from each truck for this purpose.

In this regard, the KJBWA and FKJGP leaders strongly urged the concerned authority to auction these cattle to the local butchers of the state.

 Further, the KJBWA along with the NGO leaders also issued stern warning that they will not sit idle on this issue, and that anyone found involved in this illegal business from now onwards will not be spared for the benefit of the local populace consuming beef and local butchers of the state.

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