Cattle seized by the BSF troops along the Indo-Bangladesh border will now go back to the customs department for auction.
In Meghalaya, the BSF troops have seized cattle worth Rs 16 crore in 2019 while they were taken to be smuggled to Bangladesh.
However, the seized cattle have become a headache for the BSF as the customs department was not authorized to auction these seized cattle, following an order of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, in its order in August 2017 directed that the sale of cattle would be made in consonance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) rules, 2017 where customs officers are not empowered under the provisions of the PCA rules or the PCA act.
At present around 1,100 cattle seized by BSF personnel in Meghalaya are being taken care of by the border guarding force in the border outposts.
More than 1000 cattle have also died in the border outposts of the BSF, mostly sick and injured cattle which were brought in trucks by the smugglers from outside Meghalaya and from within the state.
“We have aired the problem with the Ministry of Home Affairs, and now the seized cattle will go back to the customs department for auction,” BSF Meghalaya Frontier Inspector General, Kuldeep Saini told reporters.
“Though no notification has been issued in this regard, it has come to us in the form of minutes of a meeting,” Saini added.
Sani said that when the customs department was not authorized to auction the seized cattle, the state government has to take steps to ensure that seized cattle are not recycled for smuggling to Bangladesh.
Earlier the BSF has stated that the disposal of seized cattle has been a headache for them and the auction process should be amended.
In many instances, the BSF found that the seized cattle were not taken over by the authorities, in spite of accepting the seizure memo and keeping the cattle at the border outposts.
In cases where the authorities took over the seized cattle, the auction of these cattle was carried out very close to the international border and the same cattle were recycled for smuggling.
Along with cattle, Sani informed that the BSF Meghalaya Frontier have made seizures worth Rs 36 crore and apprehended 176 entrants/smugglers along the international borders during 2019.
He said that cattle were the major seizure worth Rs 16 crore, followed by dry peas worth Rs 1.6 crore, Yaba tablets Rs 28 lakh, liquor Rs 11 lakh, fake Indian currency notes Rs 51 lakh, motorcycle Rs 15 lakh and ganja Rs 6 lakh.