Opposition Raps Odisha Govt Over Reports On Illegal Cattle Transportation

Bhubaneswar/Balasore: Alleging failure in bringing down the cases of illegal transportation of cattle in the State, the Opposition parties- BJP and Congress today launched a scathing attack on the Odisha government in the Assembly.

There has been a significant rise in the number of illegal transportation of cattle through Odisha. As per reports, national highway-16 has been the prime route for transportation of cattle between Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal through Balasore.

The cattle are illegally transported in pick-up vans and containers and on many occasions the animals have lost their lives due to road accident.

Replying to Congress leader and Jatani MLA Sura Routray’s question on illegal transportation of cattle, Fisheries & Animal Resources Development Minister Arun Sahoo, today said, “Since 2016, 278 cattle were rescued in Odisha while being illegally transported, while 23 persons have been arrested so far. A total penalty amount of Rs 21,200 has been collected in connection with those cases.”

The highest number of 191 cattle were rescued in Nayagarh followed by Balasore from where 87 cattle have been rescued.

Speaking on the rise in number of such cases, Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Pratap Sarangi, expressed his resentment while stating that steps are being taken to bring a uniform law across the country to ban cow slaughter.

“To stop such illegal transportation of cows, one uniform law is required across the country,” said Sarangi.

Slamming the State government, senior Congress leader and Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, ”It is a matter of shame for the Minister to mention that only 278 cattle were rescued and other details he provided were also shocking. Possibly, more than 1 lakh cattle are being smuggled everyday from Odisha.”

Meanwhile, locals in Balasore alleged that police and local administration have failed to take action and nab the people involved in illegal cattle transportation despite such an alarming situation.

“Officials of the local administration might be helping those who are involved in illegal cattle transportation. Because despite Collector’s directive in this regard, nothing has been done,” said a Jaleswar local, Kalicharan Dash.

“I have seen police taking bribe of Rs 100 to allow such vehicles carrying cattle to go ahead,” alleged a local resident of West Bengal, Akash Ray.