BONGAIGAON, June 8 - A large syndicate of cattle smuggling is running in lower Assam districts under the patronage of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Food and Civil Supply Minister Phani Bhusan Choudhury, alleged Congress party�s Bongaigaon district unit president Sankar Prasad Ray.
Talking to this correspondent today, Ray said that cattle are being smuggled daily at night by trucks which pass through the highways of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Dhubri and Goalpara districts to reach the transit spots near Bangladesh border and the police allegedly help the smugglers in taking the consignments to Bangladesh border instead of taking action against them.
Chief Minister Sonowal, who is also holding the portfolio of home ministry, allegedly has tacit support to this cattle syndicate and because of which police functioning under him are instructed not to take action against the cattle smugglers, Ray said.
�If the Chief Minister pretends ignorance about the illegal cattle trade, we will help him to detect the trucks which carry cattle and pass through the national highways under the nose of the police�, Ray challenged.
A former militant leader and a South Indian tout allegedly control the whole cattle syndicate from Srirampur and Guwahati respectively, a Congress leader of Kokrajhar district said.
Police of these lower Assam districts have no record about the arrest of any member of the cattle syndicate till date and it indicates the nexus between the police, top political leaders and syndicate members, said another Congress party leader.
Ray had criticised Bongaigaon AGP legislator and Minister Phani Bhusan Choudhury for his alleged involvement in the illegal trade along with the top leaders of BJP and warned to disclose more facts about the syndicate in the coming days if the Chief Minister fails to stop the syndicate.