Despite tough laws, arrests, and encounters against cattle smuggling in Assam, the menace seems to have continued even during the recent floods in the state that left lakhs of people displaced.
Assam police arrested Samsul Haque, known to be a key agent of cow smuggling, three days back. Sources say that police received information suggesting that the floods turned out to be favourable for the smugglers.
With Eid coming up in a few weeks, the demand for cows in neighbouring Bangladesh has increased. Assam shares a long border with Bangladesh in areas around Dhubri river, there is no fencing in some places. The situation is similar in South Salmara Mankachar district.
A tweet by Assam police said that cattle smuggling took place through the Brahmaputra river.
“Recent vigorous action by SSM Police against cattle smuggling in the Brahmaputra river under Sukchar PS of South Salmara Mankachar district.@assampolice @DGPAssamPolice @gpsinghips,” the tweet said.
How does cattle smuggling take place in floods?
Firstly, cows are tied up to banana trunks, which can float in water. The head portion of cows are kept on top. A minimum of 100 cows are smuggled every day, say sources in Dhubri.
A local officer of the region told News18, “All these cows have mark on them, at times number is written on them too. Here, Brahmaputra and Gadhadar rivers are spread widely. Flood water, river water all have merged and in this situation, if earlier 300 cattle were smuggled, now that number has doubled.”
The Assam police and BSF are monitoring the situation and a regular vigil is maintained. Special DGP law and order GP Singh told News 18, “The Assam Police and BSF are monitoring the situation. Regular watch is being kept. Arrests happen regularly.”
Local officers who are monitoring this say, “We intercept them, we get information from our sources and nab them. We are very strict on this.”