The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has asked the BSF to establish a clear set of protocol for cattle rescued from smugglers on the Indo-Bangla border in the eastern frontier, sources said.
At a meeting of the panel held on Monday evening under the chairmanship of Congress MP Abhishek Singhvi, the committee asked the Border Security Force to present a detailed action plan in writing on the recovery of smuggled cattle to ensure there are no deaths.
The sources added that TMC MP Derek O’Brien also raised the issue of “low attendance” of Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla before the panel. BSF Director General Pankaj Singh earlier gave a detailed presentation before the panel on the functioning of the force and its action plan along the borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Sources said that responding to a question by BJP MP Dilip Ghosh, the BSF DG spoke about the problem of cattle smuggling along the border and said the paramilitary force was cognizant of it. It is learned that Singh mentioned that for the BSF the recovered cattle have turned into a festering trouble as according to new Supreme Court directions, they cannot be auctioned.
The BSF has to look for animal welfare organisations to hand over these cattle for rehabilitation and care, he said, adding that earlier the cattle recovered were handed over to the Customs department. The problem is that many of these cattle are old and in bad health and most don’t last the transportation or die at the centre.
The committee, according to the sources, has asked for further details including how many head of cattle have died in the last three years. The panel was hearing the views of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Border Security Force on the subject, Functioning of central armed police forces (CAPFs) in the context of National Security’.
The panel was earlier apprised by officials of the ITBP and the Assam Rifles of their functioning.
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