Cattle smuggling from Udayapur rampant

Gaighat, January 10

Smuggling of cows and oxen from Beltar bazaar, Udayapur, to India is on the rise.

Beltar bazaar is the biggest cattle market in the district. Livestock from rural areas of the district are brought to the bazaar for sale. However, the cattle are also smuggled from the bazaar to India through Siraha, Saptari and Damak of Jhapa.

Locals said police had turned a blind eye to the matter despite being aware of the rampant smuggling. They also accused security officials of being corrupt.

A businessperson in Saptari, Mohammad Sakil, said they had to bribe police personnel until the smuggled cattle reached India.

Sakil said traders bought cows and oxen from Khotang and Okhaldhunga before bringing them to Beltar and smuggling them. “All the cows and oxen are smuggled to India,” he said, adding that more animals were smuggled from Jhapa than from Siraha and Saptari districts.

More than a dozen traders in Udayapur are involved in smuggling cattle. A businessperson, on condition of anonymity, said it was easy to run smooth business after bribing police personnel, adding that around 20,000 cows and oxen were smuggled to India from Beltar bazaar every year.

Sakil said it was difficult to find cattle in rural areas of the district as most of the cows and oxen were smuggled. He added that they hardly found 10 to 15 cows and oxen in a month.

Meanwhile, Former SI at Area Police Office, Beltar, Dor Nath Dhakal conceded that a huge number of domestic animals were smuggled to India from Beltar. “Smuggling has increased of late,” he said. Dhakal added that the smugglers had become more active with the support of political parties and police.