Updated: January 29, 2021 8:01:08 am
POLICE HAVE busted a cattle smuggling racket in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat district with the arrest of 10 people who were caught while allegedly taking the bovines to slaughterhouses in neighbouring Maharashtra. Among others, the police have named the district general secretary of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — the BJP’s youth wing — as an accused in the racket.
According to the police, 165 cows and oxen were being smuggled through the forest route from MP’s Bakoda village to slaughterhouses in the bordering district of Nagpur on January 24 night when they were intercepted.
A police patrolling party from Lalburra police station reached the spot after receiving information that some drunk men were trying to cross a stream between Belgaon and Bakoda with the cattle in tow. The police found that the men, who were from neighbouring villages, did not have the required papers to show purchase of the cattle or their medical certificates.
On further questioning, the men told the police that the cattle belonged to BJYM leader Manoj Pardhi and one Arvind Pathak. They said Pardhi and Pathak had asked them to take the cattle to Nagpur for slaughter, said Town Inspector of Lalburra Police Station Raghunath Katarkar.
“We then arrested the 10 men from the spot and registered a case against a total of 20 people. We are gathering more evidence to establish the extent of involvement of Manoj Pardhi and Arvind Pathak who will be subsequently arrested,” said Katarkar.
State BJYM president Vaibhav Pawar, when contacted, told The Indian Express, “I have just learnt of the matter. We’ll look into it, the truth behind it, and subsequently act accordingly.”
Inspector Katarkar said cattle smugglers have started taking the forest route to Maharashtra following a crackdown on illegal bovine transport on the roads.
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