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Posted at: Nov 30, 2016, 1:37 AM; last updated: Nov 30, 2016, 1:37 AM (IST)

Note ban hits cattle smuggling to B’desh

Bijay Sankar Bora

Tribune News Service

Guwahati, November 29

Demonetisation has had its impact on cattle smuggling across India-Bangladesh border and there has been a sharp decline in seizure of such cattle by the Border Security Force following the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

Guwahati-based DIG of the border guarding force, Daniel Adhikary, said incidents of cattle smuggling across the border in Dhubri sector of Assam, Coochbehar and Falakata sectors in north Bengal as well as Dawki in Meghalaya had come down drastically after the Centre effected demonetisation.

He said illegal trans-border transactions related to cattle smuggling were carried out in the hawala chain where the cash reserve had plummeted. He explained that cattle were smuggled from India to Bangladesh where the commodity was in high demand. The payment for the smuggled cattle was made by Bangladeshi buyers to Indian smugglers in India through hawala transaction.

“There were recent cases where BSF personnel seized up to 480 cattle in a night,” the BSF official said.

Rampant smuggling to Bangladesh had triggered cattle theft in many parts of the state, especially in eastern Assam where bullock are hardly used for ploughing anymore because of mechanisation of farming. Moreover, smugglers use their contacts to buy aged cows at cheap rate only to be sneaked into Bangladesh later.

The cattle seizure is usually the highest in Dhubri sector of Assam as it has a long stretch of river border, followed by Coochbehar and Falakata sectors. The BSF seized 42,768 cattle from January 2013 to September 2015 in the three sectors.

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