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All-out measures taken to prevent rawhide smuggling

WT24 Desk

Both the police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have taken all-out steps to check the possible smuggling of rawhides of sacrificial animals through different border points during the Eid-ul Azha. The rawhides of animals are mainly smuggled from Bangladesh through various borders points of Kurigram, Jessore (Benapole), Satkhira and Chapainawabganj (Sona Masjid), according to Bangladeshi tanners.

Acting Additional Director General (Operations) of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) headquarters Col Mohammad Zillul Haque said all the necessary steps have already taken to check rawhide smuggling from the country through the frontiers.

“We’ve already instructed all the battalions and border outposts (BOPs) to remain alert so that rawhides are not smuggled out of the country,” he told UNB on Friday. The BGB top official hoped that the BGB men will able to effectively check the rawhides smuggling this year as they did in previous years.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police has also taken measures to prevent its smuggling by not allowing any vehicle to carry rawhide to leave the capital other than going to Savar tannery industrial estate.

“No vehicle carrying cattle rawhide will be allowed to leave the capital other than the Savar Tannery Estate for the four days from Eid-day (from September 13 to 16),” Deputy Commissioner (Media) of DMP Masudur Rahman told UNB.

He said the DMP in coordination with Dhaka district police will prevent vehicle carrying rawhides from going outside Dhaka by setting up special checkposts at strategic city points. Besides, police patrols will be intensified to prevent any kind of extortion from rawhide laden-vehicle, the DC media said.

General Secretary of Bangladesh Tanners Association Shakhawat Ullah said the country’s tanneries collect 60 percent of their annual rawhides during Eid-ul Azha. “If the rawhide smuggling cannot be prevented, the local tanners will definitely suffer huge losses.”

“Now Indian tanneries don’t get enough rawhides in India. So, they’ll desperately try to collect rawhides from Bangladesh this time,” he said. Shakhawat, however, said the volume of rawhide smuggling has been very insignificant in the last 7-8 years due to strict measures taken by the government.

UNB Satkhira correspondent says a three-tier monitoring system will be taken in frontier area to check smuggling of rawhides during the Eid-ul Azha. Police and BGB are going to install separate checkposts to check the smuggling.

Superintendent of Police of Satkhira Altaf Hossain said the government has instructed them to show zero tolerance to smuggling of rawhides this year. “The police are taking measures to prevent the smuggling following the government’s directives,” he said.

The SP said special checkposts will be set up so that a single rawhide cannot be smuggled out of the country. Police will continue its two-tier monitoring along the border over the next one month to check the smuggling. Acting Commanding Officer of Satkhira 38 BGB Battalion Major Syed Mohammad Lokman Hakim said the BGB will also install special checkposts along the border to check the smuggling.

According to the Satkhira Department of Livestock Services, more than 50,000 animals are usually sacrificed during the Eid-ul Azha there. Small rawhide traders along the border areas allegedly receive money in advance from their Indian counterparts and smuggle out the rawhides through 100 illegal border points of Satkhira Sadar, Kolaroa, Debhata, Kaliganj and Shymnagar Upazila, and it goes on even after one month after Eid-ul Azha.

According to UNB’s Jessore correspondent, the district law and order committee at its recent meeting decided to take all-out measures to check the rawhide smuggling. Second in Command (2ic) of Jessore BGB 26 Battalion Major Abdul Latif at the meeting said the BGB will deploy additional force along the border areas to prevent the rawhide smuggling.

According to tanners, some 50-60 lakh cows are sacrificed during Eid-ul Azha across the country.

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