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Bovine smuggling & Drug menace in Jammu region
Jamwal Mahadeep Singh5/23/2019 10:33:16 PM
When we speak in terms of bovine smuggling, we find that it is a lucrative trade that fetches handsome profit overnight. It is a menace across the country and has raised many concerns and the 'cow vigilantism' is high jacked agenda of some fanatic organizations. National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) shows that around 80 million people around 1 of every 13 Indians eat beef or buffalo meat. The biggest chunk of beef eating population is Muslim by faith, according to NSSO data. Consumption patterns vary across states as well. Among larger states, that show a relatively higher share of beef/buffalo-consuming population, the Jammu and Kashmir is one of them. On J&K platter, the illegal bovine transportation takes its flight mostly from four districts such as: Kathua, Samba, Jammu and Udhampur take it to the Kashmir valley and is reasoned that beef is a cheap source in valley for non-vegetarians habitual of taking it almost on daily basis. The everyday consumption is linked to the climatic conditions of the Kashmir valley that can be generally described as cool in the spring and autumn, mild in the summer and cold in the winter.
When we look for the sources that supply the live stock for transportation, these are the cattle that stop lactating and those rendered useless being of old age and become burden on the breeders. The bovine smugglers also indulge in cattle thefts to carry on their trade. The stray cattle also become the target of these bovine smugglers. This activity has many times attracted the fury of some organizations that allege to work for protection of cows and District Administration had to face the tough time to maintain law and order. To curb the illegal transportation, the District Magistrates of affected regions of Jammu division have imposed ban on transportation of bovine animals by exercising the powers vested to them under section 144 CrPC. Section 188 RPC deals with the acts of disobedience committed against the orders (under section 144 CrPC.) passed by a public servant (District Magistrate) lawfully empowered to pass such orders. According to sec.188 RPC, disobedience to the order promulgated by the public servant is an offence. Here the police come into picture to maintain the sanctity of the lawful order.
Where the police on one hand have been doing its lawful duty towards this aspect at the same time it is also under criticism for hand in glove with the bovine smugglers. The Kathua bordering Punjab State has the only potentiality enabling the bovine smugglers to cater the number of bovines from Punjab and elsewhere states. But in view of costing more, the internal feeders in the district are more lucrative for bovine smugglers. This district has seen many violent protests in the history of even burning the vehicles carrying bovines. A scary picture speaks that the bovine smugglers in Districts Kathua, Samba, and Jammu are better placed to safely cross many checking points and Zigzags created on highways and link roads always alert and in action 24X7X365. The vast number of villages in these districts is agriculture based and animal husbandry that has a big chunk of buffer stock, a boon for the bovine smugglers, hence these are more prone to the bovine smugglers; Whereas District Rajouri and Poonch have been in news off and on for bovine smuggling activities but very less in number. This may be because of the absence of fanatic organizations in large and districts extremely populated by particular community. When we take a stopover on the map of Udhampur District, we find that hardly any buffer stock or feeding junctions for the bovine smugglers, so Udhampur is just a cross over and transitory for the bovine smugglers. My fair analysis as an ex-police officer having 36 years of service at my credit and resident of Udhampur town, very authoritatively have the mandate to vouch that while entering into the jurisdiction of District Udhampur, these bovine smugglers have tough time to escape undetected and are trapped. The glaring data on the subject matter from January 2019 till mid of the current month May, in itself is an eye opener. During the period under reference as many as 1047 bovines have been rescued, 135 bovine smugglers arrested, 89 cases registered in different police stations such as: 34 cases in P/S Udhampur, 23 cases in Chenani, 15 in Rehamble, 11 in Majalta and 6 cases registered in Police Station Ramnagar. The 71 vehicles used for transportation too had been seized. The police hammer on vehicular transportation in Udhampur has forced to shift the bovine smuggling activity to the bovines being carried through alternate walk able routes escorted by heavy contingent of muscle men wielding 'Lathies', the all powerful weaponry of particular community. An incident few days back in the jurisdiction of Majalta police station is an eye opener and needs to be taken as warning signals towards this new trend in bovine smuggling. On the burning issue of drug menace, Udhampur Police too have contributed lot towards curtailing the increasing trend of drug addiction in the town. It has acted as a strong barrier and curtailed to a larger extent, safe crossing of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances from Udhampur highway 'Naka points'. The current year data on this aspect of crime is itself attestation to the fact that District Police Chief within a short span has activated the Police Stations to the required level. In all 42 cases registered under NDPS Act, 23 in Udhampur Police Station, 8 in Rehamble, 7 in Chenani, 2 in Majalta and one each in P/S Ramnagar and Kud. 61 persons apprehended in these cases with recovery of 'Poppy straw' 849 kg, 'Charas' 13.56 gm, 'Heroine' 509.32 gm, 'Ganja' 750 gm, intoxicating capsules 366 in number, and intoxicating syrup (Codeine Phosphate Syrup) 300 bottles.
I like to add here that this much is not enough to put breaks on bovine smuggling, and drug menace, the police has to take some steps forward to get 'Route Permits cancelled' and 'cancellation of Registration' followed by confiscation of the vehicles involved in the cases followed by the implication and arrest of the owners of the vehicles also for facilitating the commission of the crime. The provisions of 'The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act', required be invoked along with offence u/s 188 RPC. Connecting the chain involved in the process as local suppliers, en-route facilitators as well as receivers at the destination. The lawyers facilitating these bovine smugglers by procuring judicial remedies should also co-operate with the police and introspect about the issue. The 'drive on drug menace' requires acceleration especially in the town and adjoining localities as civil society, NGOs as well as political organizations are regularly projecting and agitating over the issue as the drug has taken away lives of many young buds although not reported to the Police by the families considering it as a social stigma over the family. Like as suggested above, the seizures, are to be connected with the source of procurement, en-route facilitators as well as receivers at the destination. All these intermittent facilitators are liable and required to be booked and arrested for abetting and assisting the drug transportation.
Concluding the lip shot in 2015, by then Health Minister of J&K on the floor of the assembly that "Police is responsible for increasing drug menace in the state" and involvement of some police officers with drug mafia in J&K itself from an officer of IPS cadre to the level of SHOs and Constables need special consideration as a part of special strategies to curb the drug menace. The general public silently watching the activities of the police across the region and before the public in large on the behest of some vested players openly start pouring on the roads; Police has to grip the bovine smuggling and drug peddlers and their handlers.
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