Under threat from vigilantes and police squads, cow smugglers in Rajasthan have begun transporting the animals to illegal slaughterhouses in Haryana through unused roads.Sikri police arrested a Hindu villager and three of his sons for trying to smuggle as many as 63 heads of cattle through Bharatpur in Rajasthan on Tuesday night. A police team led by Sikri station house officer Kesar Singh set up barricades along the dirt road on a tip-off, nabbing Bolkheda resident Gutti Gurjar and his sons Kanhiya Gurjar, Memal Gurjar and Nandram Gurjar.Superintendent of police Kailash Chandra Bishnoi said the four were trying to transport cows from Kishangarh in Ajmer to a slaughterhouse in Haryana. The accused have confessed to the crime, he said, adding that the animals have been sent to the Jay Shri cattle shelter.Police said cattle smugglers have been transporting the animals through Bharatpur ever since a mob of vigilantes killed a Muslim man in Alwar on April 1. Eighteen vehicles have been seized and 227 heads of cattle rescued in the last three months, they added.Former Kaman MLA Mohammad Jahur Khan said the Meo community was infamous for smuggling cattle. “We urge Hindus to avoid selling their cows to Muslim cattle traders. A panchayat meeting aimed at stopping cow slaughter will be held at Gulpada village on April 22,” he added.Khan said 30-40% of the cow smugglers in the region belong to the Hindu community.Police data shows that 29 cow smugglers have been arrested in Bharatpur from January to April this year. While 123 cow smugglers were held under Rajasthan’s anti-cow slaughter law in 2015, the number rose marginally to 127 the following year.Police have established six police outposts to curb cattle-smuggling through the Mewat region in western Rajasthan. Bishnoi said Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) personnel have been deployed to assist police in this regard.Despite the ban, many in Mewat are still involved in cattle trade. This is why additional precautions are taken in Alwar and Bharatpur, besides places in neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje had approved 39 police outposts on October 13, 2014, to curb cattle smuggling across the state. Enhanced emphasis on cow trafficking has also been placed in the Sikri, Gopalgarh, Pahari, Kaman and Jurahara areas.RAC and police personnel, besides quick response teams, have been deployed at outposts bordering Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in Bharatpur’s Mewat region. An additional superintendent of police was also appointed in Deeg to curb related activities, Bishnoi said.According to sources, cattle smuggling to Haryana has increased ever since Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath began cracking down on illegal slaughterhouses in his state. Rescued animals are sheltered in cow shelters at Jarkhod, Bhojan Thali and Badipur.