The Odisha police on Sunday seized containers from two districts of the state transporting beef to West Bengal. One container carrying 20 tonnes of beef was caught on NH16 near Bilipada under the Kuakhia Police limit of Jajpur district.
As per a report in Organiser, one Javed Mandal (40) and Bapi Mandal (30) of North 24 Pargana district of West Bengal have been arrested in connection to the matter.
Locals alerted Bajrang Dal and VHP activists
Reportedly, the truck carrying beef broke down on NH16 near Bilipada. Local villagers around the location noticed blood flowing out of the container and alerted Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists immediately.
The local activists alerted the police. Upon interrogation, the driver and cleaner of the truck first informed that they were transporting fish. However, they later admitted to transporting beef.
The vehicle which had no valid documents was en route to Kolkata from Odisha’s Sambalpur district. The police arrested the duo after the activists gheraoed the police station and demanded strict action against them.
“Tonnes of beef transported to WB”
Working president of VHP Jeypore district Akshaya Kuma Bal said, “Every day a large number of cows and tonnes of beef are being transported to West Bengal through NH 16. But both the police and the administration are not taking any steps to bring this to a halt.”
“We demand these activities be stopped. If the administration does not listen to our demand, we shall be forced to come to the street,” he said further.
Mehmood Khan and 4 others arrested
In another incident, Md Asiq, Mehmood Khan, Tuku Khan, SK Islam and Feeroj Ali Khan were arrested by Khordha police for transporting seven quintals of beef.
Here too the beef was being transported to West Bengal.
The Odisha government in 2018 had decided to intensify highway patrolling after identifying five districts as major cattle transport corridors. The state Home and Commerce departments had also planned to set up police check posts at major entry points along the inter-State border, create control rooms to receive complaints regarding illegal trafficking or movement of cattle and raise awareness on animal welfare laws.
However, the plan seems to have been ineffective in curbing the rampant illegal transportation of beef and cattle smuggling.