Rampant cattle smuggling: The modus operandi at the border explained
Loopholes continue to remain at the Indo-Bangladesh border which has helped cattle smugglers a great deal. A report by the Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs points out that there is a deep nexus at the border which has facilitated cattle smugglers.
The border is very vulnerable still, the report states while adding that this does not just help cattle smugglers but also terrorists and criminals. The report notes that cattle smuggling continues to be rampant despite the actions taken by the Border Security Force.
The committee expressed anguish that the West Bengal state government has failed to implement its own order dated September 1 2003 that outlaws existence of any cattle haats within 8 kms of border area. The committee recommended to the West Bengal government that steps should be taken to cancel the licences of cattle haats that are illegally operating in the 8 kilometre radius of the border area.
Recommendations and observations:
Mass movement and trading of cattle should be prohibited within 15 kms of border and steps may be initiated to move all cattle haats located within 15 kms of border to the hinterland.
Auction of seized cattle by customs officials is misused by the cattle smugglers who keep buying the auctioned cattle again and again. Auction of seized cattle must be banned in the states bordering India Bangladesh Border and the customs department may be requested to arrange for transportation of the seized cattle to states other than the border states and hold auction there.
Mass movement of cattle occurs from all states towards West Bengal and Assam and once they reach border areas it becomes extremely difficult to stop their movement across the border.
The construction of the fencing along the IBB is going on at a very slow pace. Only 21 km of fencing in 17 months since July 2015 has been completed.
A long stretch of 423.34 km has remained unfenced due to non-feasibility of physical barrier and deployment of non physical barriers is still in its testing phase and will require time before its implementation.
Almost until 528 km of border, where floodlights are feasible and have been sanctioned is yet to be floodlit. Lack of floodlights on the border allows the smugglers to perpetrate their devious activities during night.