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India-Bangladesh Cattle Smuggling Case: TMC Leader gets arrest warrant

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Umamageswari Maruthappan

The Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) has issued an arrest warrant against Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Vinay Mishra following his failure to appear before the CBI for investigation even after four summons. Mishra was also issued a lookout notice earlier.

The TMC leader is accused of being a part of the Cattle Smuggling case, the probe of which was conducted by the CBI after the case was registered on 21st September 2020.

According to a CBI report, several persons including the Border Security Force (BSF) officers, private individuals, public servants, and traders are engaged in this India-Bangladesh cow smuggling case.

Following the registration of the case, searches and raids across West Bengal were carried out and a number of accused persons, including a key trader Md. Enamul Haque, was arrested.

In a first of its kind, a member of TMC was booked under the case. Vinay Mishra was reported and said to be escaping from the investigation which had provoked the CBI to now issue an arrest warrant.

More than 20,000 cows have been seized and illegally traded between the India-Bangladesh borders. It is alleged that cows ranging between Rs. 20,000 and 80,000 are being seized at a lower value in auctions and further smuggled into Bangladesh. For this, the traders are reportedly bribing the BSF Officials as well as the Indian Customs Officers.

So far, the CBI had noted down many names including Md. Enamul Haque, BSF commandant Satish Kumar, Aranul S K, Mohammad Golam Mustafa and Bhuvan Bhaskar, son of a BSF officer.

The accused have been charged under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 7 (offences related to public servant being bribed) 11 (Public servant taking undue advantage) & 12(abetment of offences) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Mishra is said to be a close companion to Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee. So, his alleged involvement in this multi-crore smuggling case may take a turn in West Bengal politics as it may cause a setback to the ruling government (TMC).

The warrant issue and speedy investigation may pressurize the ruling party which is already heated due to the ceaseless resignation of TMC members. This is also likely to give way to BJP to interfere in State politics in the event of the coming State elections.