February 9, 2021 9:21:14 am
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed a chargesheet against seven people in a transborder cattle smuggling case, including suspected kingpin Enamul Haque and BSF commandant Satish Kumar, in a special court in Asansol in Paschim Bardhaman district. This is the first chargesheet filed by the agency in the case.
The others named in the chargesheet are Anarul Seikh, Mohammad Golam Mustafa, Taniya Sanyal, Badal Krishna Sanyal and Rashida Bibi. While the CBI has raided premises connected to Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Vinay Mishra in connection with the case and has procured an arrest warrant against him, he has not been named in the chargesheet.
“Further investigation is continuing to unearth larger conspiracy,” said an official.
In a statement, the agency said, “Evidence has been found during investigation regarding the alleged illegal cross-border selling of cattle, the related movement, delivery and use of ill-gotten money..The said private person [Haque] was the organiser of this illegal trade and was assisted by two other accused in connivance with then Commandant of 36 Bn. BSF deployed at Murshidabad and Malda. It was also alleged that three other accused assisted and showed fictitious business activities to regularize the ill-gotten money.”
On September 21, the agency registered a case against four of the accused, including Kumar, three private persons and unknown public servants and private persons. Searches were conducted at around 34 locations across India. Satish Kumar and Haque were arrested during the course of the investigation in November, with Haque being held in New Delhi. He continues to be in judicial custody.
In the FIR, the CBI said that between December 19, 2015 and April 22, 2017, Kumar was the commandant of the BSF’s 36 Battalion in Malda district. Four companies of the battalion were deployed in Murshidabad while two were in Malda. In this period, more than 20,000 cows were seized by the BSF before being transported across the border, the CBI alleged.
According to the FIR, the seizure lists were prepared arbitrarily, categorising the breed and size of the animals with an intention to reduce the upset price of the cattle during auctions. This was done in connivance with BSF and Customs officials, and traders like Enamul Haque, Anarul Sheikh and Mohammad Golam Mustafa, the agency alleged. These cattle were auctioned within 24 hours of seizure and moved across the border, the agency added.
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