Truck transporting cattle illegally overturns in Odisha, over 25 cows die
At least 25 cattle were killed and 35 injured after a truck in which they were being illegally transported overturned in Odisha’s coastal Balasore district early on Monday, police said.
The cattle were being taken in the truck to West Bengal, police said. The inspector of Jaleswar police station Pradip Majhi said the truck probably skidded off the National Highway 60 at Alarpur area and turned turtle killing the cattle on the spot.
“At least 60 cattle were allegedly being trafficked in pathetic conditions. Their legs were tied up,” Majhi said adding that the truck’s driver and helper fled after the accident.
In February this year, locals in Jaleswar had detained three trucks on suspicions of illegal cattle trafficking. A month before, four Muslim men carrying a cow were brutally thrashed and their SUV torched by people in Cuttack town after villagers suspected them to be cattle thieves.
In September last year, a mob in communally-sensitive Bhadrak district had torched a van following suspicions that cattle were being smuggled to West Bengal.
Last year, the Union ministry of environment’s Animal Welfare Board had alerted the Odisha government about cattle being trafficked from six Odisha districts to West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The board had said illegal cattle transportation was being carried out mainly through Balasore and Mayurbhanj to West Bengal and to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh via Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Koraput districts.
It had asked the state’s home and commerce and transport departments to set up police check posts at major entry points along the inter-state border and create control rooms for people to register complaints regarding illegal trafficking and movement of cattle.
It also asked the police to ensure that Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Transport of Animal on Foot) Rules-2001 was complied with.