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Cattle smuggling on amid concern about Indian Delta variant

  • Published at 04:30 pm July 2nd, 2021
Cattle sale
File photo of a cattle market Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Although BGB is on high alert along the bordering area, it is still possible to smuggle small number of cattle after dodging local administration, said a BGB official

Residents of the border areas of Kurigram are growing worried about the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 as smuggling of Indian cattle has reportedly increased ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

The cattle smuggling has become rampant through the porous frontier of the district, alleged the local people.

The smugglers regularly bring in Indian cows at night using both land and river routes, they said.

These Indian cattle are made available in the local haats (bazaar) and where traders from different districts visit to collect sacrificial animals ahead of the upcoming Eid. The law enforcers often turn a blind eye to the illegal activities.

A total of 1,697 people have been found infected with the virus while 29 people have died of Covid-19 in the district till Monday.

Abdul Hakim, a villager of Jatrapur union of Sadar upazila, said haats sit on Saturdays and Tuesdays where Indian cattle are sold openly.

Mozammel Haque, a resident of Narayanpur union in Nageshwari upazila, said there is a fear that coronavirus infection, especially the Delta variant, may spread because of this illegal cross border movement.

However, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) claimed that their members are on high alert to prevent the spread of Covid-19 along the bordering areas.

Meanwhile, the local administration and police also have strengthened monitoring of any illegal cattle trade.

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, a local resident said: “It is beyond my imagination why the government is not taking effective measures to stop cattle smuggling through the bordering area to stem Covid-19.”

 “It is necessary to take effective measures immediately alongside strengthened monitoring along the bordering area,” he said.

Lt Jamal Uddin, commanding officer of Kurigram BGB, said: “We have already launched a program to create awareness among people about Covid-19 and if anyone notices illegal intruders they’ve been asked to inform BGB.”

Although BGB has been put on high alert along the bordering area, it is still possible to smuggle small number of cattle after dodging local administration, he said.

Kurigram Deputy Commissioner Md Rezaul Karim, said: “Everyone should be aware of the deadly virus. All kinds of directives have been given to stop cattle smuggling and action will be taken if any negligence is found.”

He also assured of taking necessary steps after consulting with BGB and upazila administration.