A 42-year-old Bangladeshi man, an alleged cattle smuggler, was lynched by villagers in the border district of Karimganj on Monday, officials confirmed, adding that arrangements are made being made by talking with Bangladeshi authorities to hand over the body.
The incident occurred when a group of six smugglers — four Bangladeshis and two Indians — tried stealing cows from a house in the Putni tea estate, a few kilometres away from the Indo-Bangla border. Putni is adjacent to the Patharia reserve forest, which, research says, sees a transnational movement of a six-membered herd of all-female elephants.
The area is dotted with thick forests and tea gardens. In cattle smuggling, officials in the security forces say, individuals from Bangladesh cross over illegally and take the cows from their Indian collaborators before escaping.
“There’s an elephant corridor there. These cattle thieves had illegal crossed the border and tried stealing cows. Villagers caught hold of them and thrashed them. One person died,” Kumar Sanjit Krishna, SP of Karimganj, told The Indian Express, identifying the man as Ranjit Munda of Sonarupa tea estate in Bangladesh.
A case has been registered, and investigations are on, Krishna said. “We have spoken to the BSF regarding the hand over of the body to Bangladesh,” he added. It is expected that there will be flag meeting with Bangladesh’s Border Guards and the body would be handed over soon.
In August last year, a Bangladeshi cattle smuggler was shot dead in an encounter with the Border Security Force (BSF) on the India-Bangladesh border in Karimganj. BSF and police had said then that the incident happened when more than 30 Bangladeshis were trying to enter India to steal cows and smuggle.
In May last year, an Indian cattle smuggler was arrested by the BSF in South Salmara district while he was trying to smuggle four cattle into Bangladesh. Days later, a Bangladeshi cattle smuggler was arrested in Coochbehar district of West Bengal which borders both Assam and Bangladesh. In June last year, BSF arrested another Indian cattle smuggler in South Salmara with 11 cattle.
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