Concerns over border killings understandable, but Dhaka misses mark by turning face from menace of cattle smuggling – India News , Firstpost

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Whereas Dhaka’s misery on the experiences of cattle smugglers being lynched or killed in shootouts with the BSF is comprehensible, it does itself no favours by ignoring the magnitude of the problem the drive is up in opposition to or the menace of cattle smuggling launched from its borders.

On Wednesday, Bangladesh’s overseas ministry expressed deep concern over killings on the India-Bangladesh border by ‘BSF, Indian nationals’ and referred to as for the Border Safety Drive to train most restraint.

Whereas Dhaka’s misery on the experiences of cattle smugglers being lynched or killed in shootouts with the BSF is comprehensible, it does itself no favours by ignoring the magnitude of the problem the drive is up in opposition to or the menace of cattle smuggling launched from its borders.

The cattle smuggling business, estimated by some at a billion {dollars}, sees tens of hundreds of animals illegally transported to Bangladesh by means of the border, a requirement that’s at all times excessive and which normally peaks forward of Eid festivities.

In 2019, 16,350 cattle have been seized and 50 Bangladeshi and 70 Indian smugglers have been arrested, as per the BSF. In 2018, 38,950 cattle have been seized from the South Bengal border in 2018.

And whereas the BSF has been utilizing ‘non-lethal’ weapons to scale back lethal incidents with smugglers since 2011 — the toll from 2009 to 2017 was solely 294 in comparison with 1,000 between 2001 and 2009 — the assaults on BSF personnel haven’t stopped with greater than 800 personnel being injured by smugglers (16 in 2020 alone), as per this Observer Analysis Basis piece.

The BSF maintains that it fires solely when a scenario turns “ugly” and the lives of its troops are in peril. A prime BSF officer mentioned: “Forces open fireplace solely when the scenario will get out of hand, in any other case regular process is adopted to nab the smugglers who’re then handed over to the police”.

As per The Occasions of India, 2017, 2018 and 2019 noticed 937, 1,274 and a pair of,014 personnel being injured with 445, 414, and 746 fence breaches, as per statistics put out by the BSF.

Simply final month, three BSF personnel have been brutally crushed with bamboo sticks and a sharp-edged cleaver like weapons close to the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal. as per PTI.

‘Handled like merchants’

In accordance with an official, talking on situation of anonymity to PTI, cattle smugglers from India are handled as merchants as soon as they cross over to Bangladesh. “All these smugglers must do is to furnish taka 500 [Rs 438] per animal to the officers in Bangladesh afterwards they’re free to promote it to whoever they need,” he mentioned.

“Since there’s a enormous demand for cattle in Bangladesh, smugglers by no means lose a single likelihood to cross over to the neighbouring nation the place they earn straightforward cash. The demand and provide chain must be damaged,” the official mentioned.

Floating banana stems are vastly standard for illegally sending cows, oxen and buffaloes throughout the border into Bangladesh utilizing the movement of river. Huge rivers with sturdy water currents are beneficial for the smugglers preferring sending the cattle after sundown to keep away from detection.

The smugglers place the heads of the bovines between two sturdy banana stems and tie them collectively earlier than they’re pushed within the deep water, permitting the currents to take the animals to the opposite facet of the border the place their accomplices await the livestock.

How Bangladesh advantages

As per the official, Bangladesh generates earnings at three levels from this vicious cycle of cattle smuggling.

First, they get income on the entry of the animal in Bangladesh, second in meat export and third is the industries associated to it like textiles.

The elements contributing to cattle smuggling embrace the availability and demand chain, unabated motion of cattle from the hinterland to frame areas. Porous border and unfenced gaps are beneficial circumstances for the smugglers.

Since it’s a supply of earnings for the federal government of Bangladesh, the BSF doesn’t get any assist from its counterpart Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to cease cattle smuggling, the official mentioned.

BSF-BGP at odds

In July, the BSF, in a primary, put out an announcement citing non secular and medical causes outlining why smuggled cattle shouldn’t be match for consumption and even accused the BGP of supporting the “inhuman, cruel and seditious” exercise of cattle smuggling.

As per Indian Categorical, the press assertion dated 6 July signed by  DIG SS Guleria of South Bengal Frontier, learn: “After they [cattle] arrive in Bangladesh, there are lots of of Bangladeshi cattle smugglers who seize these animals, utilizing their speedboats. This job is usually achieved with the settlement of the Border Guard Bangladesh personnel.”

The BGB rapidly hit again on the BSF in a press assertion, saying the lack of motion on a part of the BSF “undoubtedly raises questions when the Indian smugglers collect cattle heads on their soil and smuggle these by means of waterways alongside the borders”.

For making extra revenue, the Indian smugglers develop into very captivated with smuggling cows to Bangladesh which additionally impacts native farmers, the BGB added. The BGB additional alleged that the information was printed solely to “cowl up” the BSF’s failure to curb cattle smuggling.

The connection between the 2 nations over cattle smuggling wasn’t at all times so acrimonious.

In 2019, the 48th bi-annual Director Basic-level talks between the BSF and the BGB concluded in Dhaka throughout which it was mutually determined to boost cooperation to higher test crime and smuggling of cattle and narcotics throughout the shared 4,0960-km frontier.

Brigadier Jalal Gani, Commander of the North West Area, Bangladesh, had mentioned that smugglers are poor individuals who indulge within the criminality simply to maintain themselves and to not lead a lavish life-style.

“Relating to the killing of smugglers by the BSF, that is our request that we must always comply with the legislation of the land. Killing shouldn’t be the answer,” the commander mentioned.

Which may be true, however Bangladesh can be higher served attempting to scrub up issues by itself facet earlier than pointing fingers at India.

With inputs from PTI

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