THE confrontation between cattle smugglers and BSF leading to causalities and injuries on both sides is one of the most important issues in Indo-Bangladesh relations, the Home Ministry told the Supreme Court in an affidavit.

The submission came in an affidavit filed by the Home Ministry in the PIL being heard by the Supreme Court seeking measures to stop cattle smuggling across the India-Bangladesh border.

Giving a detailed break up, the affidavit said violent encounters claimed 35 lives in the last three years, including five BSF personnel. 302 BSF personnel were injured too. The MHA affidavit also said a total of 1, 78,801 cattle’s were seized near the border between January and December 2016. 1, 28,440 were from West Bengal (76.1%) 33,619 from Assam (19.9%), 3,813 from Tripura (2.3%) and 2,929 from Meghalaya (1.7%)

“The confrontation and conflicts between cattle smugglers and BSFleading to casualties and injuries on both sides is one of the most important issues in Indo-Bangladesh relations. BSF has introduced several new strategies to bring down violence and loss of life on the border like strict control on firing, introduction of non-lethal weapons, round the clock domination and intensive patrolling, imposing restriction on movement of people in border areas during night, fencing, floodlighting etc.”, it said.

The affidavit had also talked about plan to introduce Unique Identity Number (UIN) tag for all cows and buffaloes across the country. Each animal to be tagged with a Unique Identification Number with proper records of identification details ( age, breed, lactation, height, body, colour, horn type, tail switch, special marks etc.)

This was one of the recommendations submitted to stop cattle smuggling across the India-Bangladesh border. Other recommendations included strengthening of institutional framework, sensitization of enforcement agencies, stern action by animal husbandry department, setting up of homes with guards for free roaming cattles and strict implementation of prosecution and penalty rules.

The court was hearing a plea filed by Akhil Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh alleging that there was rampant smuggling of live cattle across the border to Bangladesh, which has led to depletion of cattle wealth of this country.

“The smuggling of cattle across the border of Bangladesh has led to overall disruption of ecosystem and if the cattle wealth of country is depleted, then it shall also have adverse impact on nutrition of populis including children in India,” the PIL has said.

The organisation in its PIL has claimed that due to various syndicates operating, the smuggling of cattle is unchecked and rampant on the porous borders of Bangladesh.

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