In the year 2017, a report of the Parliamentary Committee had said that there is a deep nexus at the border with Bangladesh, as a result of which cattle smuggling has become rampant.
On Sunday, February 26, two Border Security Force (BSF) guards were seriously injured and their weapons snatched after over a hundred Bangladeshi villagers attacked them with sharp weapons.
The incident took place along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
The BSF said that the incident took place at the Nirmalchar border outpost when the two Jawans were patrolling. The BSF Jawans had stopped the Bangladeshi farmers from bringing in cattle to India. The BSF also said that the Bangladeshis had tried to come in with an intention of destroying crops of the Indian farmers.
26 Feb 2023
Two Brave jawan of BOP-Nirmalchar,@BSF_SOUTHBENGAL, got severe injuries on the line of duty in the attack by Bangladeshi miscreants,who forcefully entered in Indian territory in large numbers with the intention of destroying the crops of Indian farmer's.#NationFirst pic.twitter.com/yJlqVUUZlw
— BSF_SOUTH BENGAL: KOLKATA (@BSF_SOUTHBENGAL) February 26, 2023
The BSF also accused the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) of taking no concrete action to help in the recovery of the weapons that were snatched.
The incident also comes in the wake of the Indian farmers repeatedly complaining about the theft and damage to their crops by the Bangladeshi villagers.
The modus operandi
An official explains to OneIndia that this is a sustained modus operandi from the Bangladeshi side. Cattle smugglers have always been a menace and there have been various incidents of such nature.
The 2017 Parliamentary report had spoken about the nexus and added that cattle smuggling also helps terrorists and criminals. The operation by these elements continues to remain rampant despite the actions taken by the BSF, the panel had also pointed out.
The committee had also expressed anguish that the West Bengal government had failed to implement its own order dated September 1 2003 which outlaws the existence of any cattle haats within 8 kilometres of the border area. The committee further recommended that the Bengal government should take steps to cancel the licences of cattle haats which are illegally operating in the 8 kilometre radius of the border areas.
In the past couple of years, the BSF has dealt with this issue with an iron fist. This probably explains the frustration of the Bangladeshis who have decided to become extremely aggressive.
Let us take a look at some statistics starting 2016. The fact that the issue is so rampant can be seen from the fact that the BSF had seized 1,68,801 cattle in the year 2016. The figure came down to 1,19,299 in the year 2017. It dipped further in 2018 with 63,716 cattle being seized. In 2017, there was a slight rise with the number of cattle being seized at 77,410. In 2020, the numbers dropped to 46,809.
The reason for the effective management of this issue can be attributed to various factors. One of them is the effective domination of the borders by carrying out round the clock patrolling, laying nakas, establishing observation posts along the International Border and strengthening the existing defences of the Border Out Posts. The installation of floodlights and deployment of technological solutions is also another factor.
Whenever the involvement of a BSF personnel comes to light for cattle smuggling along Indo-Bangladesh border, BSF carries out investigation and appropriate disciplinary action is taken as per the rules, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha in 2021.
Cattle smuggling remains rampant in in the Eastern borders because of the high demand for meat and hide in Bangladesh. The trade runs into 100s of crores and the BSF has taken ample steps to stop this. This is why the aggression from the Bangladesh side has increased, explains another official.