Shillong, Feb 21 (IANS) Four Bangladeshi nationals and one Indian were arrested on Thursday for possessing 300 kg of beef worth Rs 90,000 in Muktapur area which is on the edge of the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya's West Jaintia Hills district.
"We have seized 300 kg of beef meant to be smuggled into Bangladesh from a vehicle in Muktapur area and arrested four Bangladeshi smugglers and one Indian smuggler besides seizing an amount of 6,025 Bangladeshi taka from their possession," said Border Security Force (BSF) Spokesperson U.K. Nayal.
The arrested Bangladeshi smugglers told the BSF interrogators that they crossed over to India and met Indian smugglers to strike a deal for a cattle consignment for smuggling, Nayal said.
The arrested Bangladeshi nationals have been identified as Noor Islam, Abdul Kalam, Shwel Ahmed and Kamal Miya. The Indian national arrested in the case was named Samiwell Lyngdoh.
"After getting the cattle, they found that all of them were not in a condition to be smuggled through the rough and rugged terrain as they were injured. Hence they slaughtered a few of them and were transporting the meat into Bangladesh in a Tata Spacio," Nayal said.
He said the smugglers have adopted this new practice of smuggling slaughtered cattle following frequent seizures.
Cow smuggling to Bangladesh has been going on for decades along the border in Meghalaya with illegal cattle traders from Bangladesh, Assam and Meghalaya making huge profits.
Meghalaya shares a 443 km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration.
Indian Customs officials valued the smuggling of cows from India to Bangladesh at approximately over Rs 1,000 crore annually.