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Cattle smuggling & illegal coal mining: Inspector among six Bengal cops called for questioning by CBI

Officials said the agency needs to interrogate the officials to dig out more information about the transborder cattle smuggling racket in which some Border Security Force (BSF), businessmen and Customs officials are believed to have been involved.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | January 6, 2021 4:07:35 am
west bengal news, bengal bjp worker death, bengal police bjp clash, bengal bjp bandh, Bagnan violence, bengal howrah bandhTMC workers and leaders demanded a proper investigation into the murder. (File)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned six state police officials, including a senior officer and an inspector, in connection with its probe into a cattle smuggling racket and an illegal coal mining case. Sources said the officials had been asked to appear before the agency within a week at the CBI office in Nizam Palace here.

Officials said the agency needs to interrogate the officials to dig out more information about the transborder cattle smuggling racket in which some Border Security Force (BSF), businessmen and Customs officials are believed to have been involved.

Recently, the agency carried out raids at Trinamool youth leader Vinay Kumar Mishra’s properties in connection with its probe
into the cases.

The six summoned will not be the first police officials to be questioned by the CBI. Last month, two Malda police officials — an Assistant Sub-Inspector and a constable — were grilled by the agency for five hours.

The CBI has already arrested a BSF official, and the cattle racket’s suspected kingpin Enamul Haque. The businessman first came under the CBI’s scanner after the arrest of BSF commandant Jibu Mathew at the Alappuzha railway station in January 2018. He had Rs 47 lakh cash on him. The money was found to be disproportionate to his income, and during interrogation, Haque’s name cropped up.

The trader was arrested and later released on bail. Based on the 2018 probe, CBI launched a preliminary inquiry to investigate a larger conspiracy as well as the role played by Satish Kumar, the former commandant of the border force’s 36 Battalion. Kumar was arrested on November 17 last year, almost two months after the CBI filed a case against him.

According to the agency, only selected traders were allowed to buy the cattle that were seized. With the help of Customs officials, the animals were shown to be of smaller size and weight, and their breed was manipulated to allow their sale at low prices in auctions, the CBI has alleged. These auctions were held within 24 hours of the animals being seized and officials at the Customs station in Murshidabad district’s Jangipur area were allegedly involved. After the auctions, the cattle were smuggled into Bangladesh, according to the CBI.

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