Minister set to take up cattle smuggling issue on visit to West Bengal

According to BSF, 57,000 cattle that were allegedly being smuggled across the border have been seized so far this year. An estimated 1.28 lakh such animals were caught in 2016.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Updated: September 6, 2017 9:27 am
Hansraj G Ahir, cattle smuggling, BSF, cross border trade, illegal, West Bengal BSF, MoS Home, India News, Indian Express Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir. (Source: PTI /File)

Centre is likely to take up non-compliance of complaints against cow smuggling, narcotics and FICN by the West Bengal police, filed by the Border Security Force (BSF), during the Minister of State (MoS) for home affairs, Hansraj Ahir’s visit to West Bengal on Wednesday. Ahir is also expected to review the border security and measures being taken to stop smuggling of fake currency and cattle near the India-Bangladesh border.

According to data available with the home ministry, West Bengal police registered FIRs in 34 percent of complaints filed by BSF related to fake currency, narcotics seizure, fake currency and complaints against illegal migrants unlike Assam and Meghalaya cops that registered FIR in 71 percent and 96 percent of complaints respectively, added officials at the home ministry.

India and Bangladesh share a 4,096 km long international border, among the fifth-longest land border out of which 262 km in Assam, 856 km in Tripura, 180 km in Mizoram, 443 km in Meghalaya and 2,217 km in West Bengal. Mizoram, according to BSF registered 100 percent FIR on the complaints of BSF.

Ahir is also likely to review the measures taken by BSF and West Bengal government to curb cattle smuggling. Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit in 2015 to border areas has tasked the BSF to halt cattle smuggling completely and starve Bangladesh of beef. According to BSF, 57000 cattle were seized this year while 1.28 lakhs cows which were being smuggled across the border were caught in 2016. After the NDA government came to power, over 3.5 lakhs cattle have been seized on the Indo Bangla border in West Bengal, according to BSF.

The junior home minister will also review the work of fencing on the Indo-Bangladesh border as government plans to plug loopholes allowing illegal migrants from Bangladesh, officials said. “Nearly 575 kilometres of fencing out of total 3326 kilometres and 650 kilometres of border road out of 1413 kilometres is yet to be completed. Similarly, the work of installing flood light is delayed for 390 kilometres,” explained a home ministry official.

A review of enclaves exchanged between India and Bangladesh as part of the land boundary agreement is also expected to be done during the visit of MoS (Home), officials said. Development and integration of Bangladeshi enclaves in India, issues related to rehabilitation of returnees from Indian enclaves in Bangladesh will be taken up, according to the officials.

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