Two trucks loaded with cattle were detained by three pressure groups in Chiading village in East Garo Hills on charges of illegal trade.
According to a FIR lodged by the groups, GSU – East Zone, AAYF Samanda unit and FKJGP – Eastern Circle, illegal smuggling of cattle was going on through the route between Jengjal in West Garo Hills before using the Chiading route into Williamnagar and lastly through the district of South Garo Hills into neighbouring Bangladesh.
The cattle smuggling menace through Meghalaya receded in recent times owing to Assam passing a legislation disallowing cattle transport through the state. However sporadic reports of cattle smuggling have been doing the rounds.
The groups added that they had intercepted two trucks carrying cattle illegally last night, with registration numbers AS01MC 1392 and AS18C 9727. Both the trucks were literally packed to the rafters with cattle, with barely enough space for even a fly to move between them.
“These were being taken from under your PS and were to be shipped to Bangladesh taking advantage of the night. We seek action on the incident,” said the FIR.
They said that the trucks did not have any special license issued by the RTO for the transportation of livestock as per the amendment under MV Act, 1988.
“The amendment also specified that the minimum distance between livestock should be 2 sq metres. However, the cattle were being transported in an overcrowded space. Further they were also subjected to torture as their mouths were tied along with their legs so that they do not make noise. This is punishable under the prevention of cruelty to animals Act, 1960,” they added.
The trucks have been handed over to the police with the groups seeking strict action against those involved in the illegal trade.