The committee was set up by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to evolve a comprehensive future plan to effectively deal with the issue of cattle smuggling. Officials in the Home Ministry said that the committee has submitted its recommendations broadly covering capacity building, creation of infrastructure (transport and housing), checks and safeguards, and monitoring mechanism.
“The recommendations have been circulated to all stakeholders and State Governments for implementation,” the officials said. According to Government records, in 2015, a total of 17,537 numbers of cattle smuggling cases were registered whereas 1, 53,602 cattle were seized and 605 smugglers were arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF).
In 2016, a total of 20,903 numbers of cattle smuggling cases were registered whereas 1, 68,801 cattle were seized and 670 smugglers were arrested. Similarly, in 2017, a total of 17,919 numbers of cattle smuggling cases were registered whereas 1, 19,299 cattle were seized and 514 smugglers were arrested by the BSF.
Records said that in 2018 a total of 4,938 numbers of cattle smuggling cases were registered whereas 21,617 cattle were seized and 99 smugglers were arrested by the BSF. Interestingly, the BSF has also taken several measures to stop such trend of cattle smuggling. “Vulnerability mapping of Border Outposts (BOPs) to assess the sensitivity of area of responsibility for cross-border crimes is being reviewed regularly and accordingly, sensitive BOPs are being strengthened by deploying additional manpower, special surveillance equipment and other force multiplier,” officials said.
Border fencing on the international border has been erected. Installation of border floodlight along border security fence to light up the area has also been done. “The agency is also using water crafts and boats and floating BOPs for domination of riverine area along the international border. Simultaneous Co-ordinated Patrolling is being conducted with Border Guard Bangladesh along the Indo-Bangladesh border,” the official said.