RSS spokesman Jishnu Basu in West Bengal who shares a 2,216 km border with Bangladesh sparks a fresh controversy saying “Killing or smuggling a cow is equivalent to raping a Hindu girl.” He demanded a stringent action against those who are involved in killing or smuggling of cattle .
Some 30,000 Indian soldiers guarding the border with Bangladesh have now new commands from the Govt “stop crossing of cattle into the neighboring Country”.
Roughly every night, troops armed with bamboo sticks and ropes wander through jute and paddy fields and swim across ponds to chase bovines, and smugglers, heading towards Bangladesh market.
Some BSF soldiers said “We could not understand why they were chasing cows. Some animals are caught and sell by the BSF.
Two soldiers were killed by a gang of Bangladeshi smugglers, while three dozen have been injured by the animals.
“It is a wild chase, but not of a kind a soldier appreciates,” said Vivek Tyagi, a BSF commander at the Ghojadanga check post.
“I was chained to a tree and beaten by members of the cow protection force. They forced me to recite a Hindu prayer,” said Mohammed Tarafdar, who was caught smuggling two calves near the Bangladesh border in April.
“My religion permits me to eat and sell beef, so why should Hindus have a problem?” said Tarafdar, sitting in a packed prison cell in Basirhat district.
The crackdown is one of the clearest signs yet of how Indian policies, increasingly influenced by extremist ideology, are having an economic impact not only on neighbouring countries but on the majorities living in India as most of them involved in cattle smuggling are Hindus.
Critics say tougher anti-beef laws discriminate against Muslims, Christians and lower-caste Hindus who rely on the cheap meat for protein.
About 2 million head of cattle are smuggled into Bangladesh annually from India. The $600 million-a-year trade has flourished over the past four decades and is considered legal by Dhaka.
So far this year, BSF soldiers have seized 90,000 cattle and caught 400 Indian and Bangladeshi smugglers.
The hit to GDP on Indian economy from the present govt policies is not yet known. But a political adviser said “obviously no doubt” that the beef trade and leather industries are suffering in India.