Maintenance of seized cattle is a challenge for BSF, said Inspector General of South Bengal Frontier. The BSF has seized over 19,000 cattle from the Indo-Bangladesh border till August 10, out of which 2,500 are still in its custody.
“BSF have seized 19,489 cattle upto August 10, 2019. But the maintenance of these animals till the order of the court has become a new challenge for us, as we have no such mechanism. Nearly 2,500 cattle are still in our custody and some NGOs have come forward. But still the problems need further attention,” Y B Khurania, IG BSF (South Bengal) said at a press conference.
Khurania accepted that cattle smuggling was prevalent in the Indo-Bangladesh border. In a Supreme Court order in 2018, the Customs Department stopped taking cattle from BSF. Now, the BSF has to wait for order from respective courts for disposal of the cattle. The force is also responsible for their upkeep till the order comes.
“The problem at the border can be solved with the participation of all stakeholders like the district administration, law agencies and so on. In the last few months we have been successful in generating cooperation. In the last few months, the number of complaints and FIRs have gone up. In last six months, we have been able to register over 500 FIRs,” Khurania added.
He said due to the unique terrain of the frontier, that has over 363 km of riverine areas, fencing and covering the area with floodlights is a challenge. He also stated that land acquisition process is on in some areas.
“Since it involves a huge capital investment, we are waiting for the field reports of success of the initial projects in other frontiers. So, currently we have installed CCTV cameras,” said Khurania when asked about censors and laser technologies. To intensify vigil in the border areas, Sunderban region will get six new floating border outposts in addition to the three existing ones, Khurania said.
The BSF officials recently visited Bangladesh. In September, a delegation of their counterparts from Bangladesh will visit Kolkata, as both the forces share a very good working relation. Officers of both sides conduct joint patrolling too.