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GUWAHATI: Assam police have foiled a bid by cattle smugglers to illegally transport livestock on a truck from Nagaon to Meghalaya.
Two persons, including the truck driver, have been arrested in this connection.
“The truck (bearing registration number AS-01-LC-3593) carrying 22 cattle, was intercepted during patrolling at Jorabat in the wee hours of Monday. The truck driver, Rakiqul Islam, 20, from Dighalihati in Nagaon, and Sikandar Ali, 35, from Rupahi in Nagaon have been arrested and are being interrogated,” Jogananda Boro, officer in-charge of Jorabat police outpost, told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.
“During interrogation, the duo admitted that the cattle was brought from Rupahi Bazar in Nagaon district for sale to a person named Baren in Meghalaya. However, they have not been able to give further details,” Boro said.
The move comes amid a crackdown on cattle smuggling syndicates operating in the state.
Police on Monday had confirmed the arrest of the cattle smuggling kingpin, Sarfaraz from his residence in Bihar by a joint team of Assam police and Bihar police led by DCP Crime (Guwahati).
Sarfaraz is alleged to be involved in the illegal smuggling of cattle and was running an inter-state syndicate to Bangladesh. Some arrests have already been made, police said.
The All India Livestock Traders and Transporter Association had recently alleged that cattle were illegally transported on trucks from Srirampur in Assam to a cattle market near Nine Mile along the inter-state boundary.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, All Assam Students Union Kamrup metro unit general secretary, Dibyajyoti Medhi alleged that cattle smuggling syndicates have been thriving in the state for over a decade now.
“It is difficult to fathom how such a syndicate can thrive without connivance of the authorities. Livestock can only be transported if the transporter has a livestock permit and by abiding by a set of guidelines for safe transport of livestock,” Medhi said.
“However, the fact that a crackdown has been launched on syndicates now augurs well. We want this crackdown to be intensified across the inter-state border,” he said.
According to sources, apart from Assam, cattle smuggled to Bangladesh via Meghalaya are brought mainly from Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The demand for beef is high in Bangladesh and cattle from India are considered to be of good quality and sell for as high as Rs 50,000 per head, making it a lucra