The Opposition Congress in Meghalaya has protested against the scarcity of beef in markets of the state and has blamed the BJP-backed government for depriving the people of their favourite food. The Congress also demanded that the government put an immediate stop to illegal smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh.
Local butchers protesting against cattle smuggling had refused to sell beef for a month forcing the authorities of East Jaintia Hills and South Wast Garo Hills districts to impose prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC along the Indo-Bangla border. They had called off their protest last weekend after the district authorities stepped up the vigil Indo-Bangladesh border.
Why has beef disappeared from the markets in the state? What is the reason? Where have the cows gone? It only means that the chief minister and the state home minister are sleeping. Or they are awake, seeing and allowing things to happen, Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma said. The government of the day should verify. It is their job. We are concerned that we have been deprived of our most delicious beef. The government should have responded. I am told that there is a smuggling of cattle going on in which some big people are involved, he alleged.
Mukul Sangma, who heads the Congress Legislative Party said at a meeting here late Thursday night that the party has discussed the issue at length. Cattle are coming to Meghalaya but not reaching the markets. I think there is a subway to divert them somewhere else, he said in a jibe.
An official statement said the prohibitory order was imposed after receiving reports that the international border in East Jaintia Hills and South West Garo Hills district is prone to smuggling of cattle, dry fish, betelnut, bidi and cigarette. These anti-social elements use sharp edged weapons, petrol bombs, crackers and lathi etc against BSF personnel causing physical harm to them, it added..
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