GUWAHATI, Sept 28 - Steps have been taken to curb incidents of cattle smuggling to Bangladesh from Assam, the Legislative Assembly was informed today.
Speaking during Zero Hour in the Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that both the State Police and BSF have intensified operations to curb incidents of cattle smuggling to the neighbouring country.
�Cattle smuggling to Bangladesh takes places due to the fact that demand for bovines is very high in that country. The BSF and police are conducting patrolling along the border areas and checkposts have been set up. Riverine patrolling has been stepped up. Besides, steps have been taken to raise awareness regarding the issue among the people living in the border areas,� said the Minister.
He added that joint teams comprising personnel from the police and BSF have also been constituted to deal with the problem. Patowary said a huge number of cattle have been recovered from smugglers during the last three years and hundreds of suspected cattle smugglers nabbed by police and BSF.
He, however, added that post recovery of smuggled cattle, the police face problems due to lack of gaushalas, adequate fodder and trained veterinarians.
�Besides, it is also very difficult to ascertain the identity of the owners of the cattle from whom the animals have been stolen. So, getting the bovines back to their original owners is also problematic,� Patowary said.
The Minister said that investigation is going on to find out the presence of any organised racket involved in cattle smuggling but added that so far there is no evidence about the presence of such a syndicate.
Regarding allegations from some quarters that certain police officials connive in facilitating smuggling of cattle across the international border, Patowary said no such evidence has come to light.
�However, if any police personnel is found to be involved in such activities, then strict action will be taken against the concerned persons,� he said.
Earlier, raising the issue during Zero Hour, AGP MLA Pabindra Deka cited media reports regarding proliferation of cattle smuggling to Bangladesh from Assam.