Cat­tle smug­gling in J&K

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

SMUG­GLING of cat­tle in clud­ing milch­ing an­i­mals, sheep and goats for dif­fer­ent pur­poses in Jammu and Kashmir ap­pears to have as­sumed alarm­ing pro­por­tions par­tic­u­larly af­ter the un­prece­dented floods in whole of the state in Septem­ber-2014 year. The traf­fick­ing of cat­tle af­ter the floods, in which over one lakh cat­tle per­ished, has in­creased in view of the high de­mand of the farm­ing fra­ter­nity for milch­ing cows in par­tic­u­lar be­cause these cat­tle drive the economies of ru­ral house­holds. The de­mand for meat from goat and sheep apart from the poul­try birds is also high as usual be­cause of high con­sump­tion of mut­ton and its by-prod­ucts in whole of J&K. But there has been a lot of skep­ti­cism over smug­gling of cat­tle for the pur­pose of slaugh­ter which may be mis­placed for var­i­ous rea­sons but this un­scrupu­lous trade brings lot of quick money for the op­er­a­tors in this trade. It has been found that there are fre­quent re­ports of cat­tle smug­gling by the smug­glers ev­ery­day in one part of the other in J&K when they are nabbed by the police or other agen­cies while trans­port­ing the bovine an­i­mals to var­i­ous parts of hilly belt or Kashmir val­ley. There has been a lot of hue and cry over trans­porta­tion of the milch cows and other an­i­mals and un­der the pres­sure of some rightwing groups, trans­porta­tion of var­i­ous an­i­mals is banned by the dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tion with­out per­mis­sion from the con­cerned dis­trict mag­is­trates. In the process, some gen­uine peo­ple are also caught up red-tape wran­gles of the bu­reau­cracy and be­come vic­tims of the law en­forc­ing agen­cies for no fault of theirs. Apart from this, it is a known fact that milch an­i­mals are im­ported on an­nual ba­sis into J&K be­cause of high ca­su­alty rate of these an­i­mals dur­ing win­ters in dif­fer­ent parts of the state. Even be­fore the men­ace of cat­tle smug­gling emerged on the scene, farm­ers in J&K have been bring­ing such an­i­mals from the neigh­bour­ing states of North In­dia for cen­turies to meet their re­quire­ments. Acute cor­rup­tion in J&K has un­for­tu­nately opened a vista for the gov­ern­ment agen­cies in in­dulge into mal­prac­tices in­stead of reg­u­lat­ing the im­port of an­i­mals from out­side the state.

Un­der these cir­cum­stances, a large num­ber of cat­tle smug­glers have formed their net­works for car­ry­ing on their il­licit trade with ac­tive con­nivance of the law en­forc­ing agen­cies, who have a share in the booty of the smug­glers. A very se­nior of­fi­cer of the police car­ried out a de­tailed in­ves­ti­ga­tion into this trade 30 years back and had eye­open­ing find­ings about his own depart­ment and the police of­fi­cials in­volved in cat­tle smug­glers and how the il­licit trade was be­ing pa­tron­ized. On the ba­sis of that re­port and find­ings some stern steps were ini­ti­ated on the ground to check this men­ace be­sides si­mul­ta­ne­ously tak­ing ac­tion against the police of­fi­cials in­volved in this il­licit trade. The find­ings of the re­port also pointed out that there has to be a will on the part of the police depart­ment to curb this men­ace and al­low the gen­uine no­mads and farm­ers to be spared of the ha­rass­ment meted out to them by the police on one pre­text or the other. In the process, it has been pointed out again and again that along with police other gov­ern­ment agen­cies should be­come reg­u­la­tory bod­ies so that this men­ace is curbed to a large ex­tent. Only re­cently, one dis­trict mag­is­trate sug­gested that the cat­tle smug­glers should be de­tained un­der dra­co­nian law Pub­lic Safety Act (PSA) to over­come the men­ace of cat­tle smug­gling. It is sad state of af­fairs PSA, which has been con­sid­ered to an un­ac­cept­able op­tion for de­tain­ing cit­i­zens in J&K and else­where in In­dia is still be­ing used by the pow­ers that be against its own cit­i­zens on se­lec­tive ba­sis par­tic­u­larly those con­sid­ered to be po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents. It is not the case in J&K only, even in rest of In­dia, po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists are de­tained un­der a sim­i­lar law NSA and they con­tinue to re­main be­hind bars for no fault of theirs. Re­sort­ing to such use of PSA also ex­poses the fail­ure of the law en­forc­ing agen­cies to take ac­tion against cat­tle smug­glers un­der ex­ist­ing other laws wherein the ac­cused can booked and pun­ished for life. It also ex­poses the mind­set of those rul­ing the roost in the cor­ri­dors of power to abuse the author­ity they are vested with in­stead of mak­ing an at­tempt to pre­pare wa­ter tight cases for such crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.