BHADRAK: A truck was set afire and four other trucks were ransacked by some unidentified persons on the suspicion of cattle smuggling in Asurali area under Dhamnagar police limits on Saturday night.
Seven trucks were carrying cattle from Charabatia under Dhamnagar police limits to Kolkata. Receiving information, a group of persons stopped the vehicles and unloaded cattle during which, they found four cows dead. The irate persons then set the truck, in which the dead cattle were found, on fire and damaged four other trucks. Dhamnagar Police rushed to the spot and deployed two platoons of force to bring the situation under control.
Despite restrictions, cattle smuggling is continuing unabated in the district, often leading to law and order situation. Last week, a truck was set afire by some persons as cows were being smuggled from the district. Driver of the truck was assaulted. The incident had taken place in Kashipur under Bonth police station limits.
Last month, a truck carrying cattle was damaged at Basudevpur. In this incident, Bhadrak District Police had seized 60 cattle and rescued the driver.
Although under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, only six cattle can be transported in a lorry under proper hygienic conditions, but more than 20 cattle are packed like sardines in trucks and transported in the most unhygienic conditions from Bhadrak every week. Most of the cattle are sent to West Bengal from where they are smuggled to Bangladesh and this is done by organised rackets, alleged animal rights activists.
Cattle are brought from every part of the district and sold at Purunabazar and Budhubazar haat under Bhadrak Purunabazar police limits. Sources said over 100 trucks are engaged in cattle smuggling and many of these heavy vehicles have no licence.
Meanwhile, animal rights activists and Hindu Surakshya Samiti met Bhadrak SP over the matter on Sunday and the cop assured to take necessary measures to stop smuggling of cattle.