Within three days of Narendra Modi-led NDA government clinching powers in New Delhi, the government initiated a crackdown on the illegal bovine trade in the state.
Acting on a tip-off, the Gumla district police on Monday seized 350 cows and ox, which were to be allegedly transported to slaughter houses in neighbouring country Bangladesh.
“We were told by our sources that cattle smugglers were trying to sneak out cows numbering more than 350 through the jungle route,” said Gumla superintendent of police (SP) Bhimsen Tuti.
The SP added after receiving the information a raiding team was formed led by DSP headquarters.
He added that the smugglers, however, managed to escape. A senior IPS officer said that a part of the herd was supposed to be delivered to various illegal slaughter houses in Jharkhand and West Bengal.
“A good numbers of cattle are for local slaughter houses but the final destination is Bangladesh,” said the IPS officer.
The beef export industry had recently expressed concern about its fate in the wake of NDA government coming to power. India exports worth `20,000 crore beef annually and Jharkhand plays a major role in the industry. He added that the illegal smuggling originates from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
“The smugglers use the jungle route to get the cattle to Gumla from Odisha via West Singhbhum, Khunti and Simdega. From Chhattisgarh and MP the cattle enter Gumla and from there the smuggler use various jungle routes to reach Sahibganj, Dumka or Pakur,” said the IPS officer.
On learning about the seizure, villagers, numbering in hundreds, reached the police station to claim ownership of the cattle. “The cattle will be handed over to the villagers on conditional basis,” said the SP.