Many of the drivers and handlers are Hindus. At the border, crossings are usually done at night. Most cows pass through West Bengal state, which shares a 1,mile border with Bangladesh.
Other Indian states accuse West Bengal of encouraging the illegal trade, said Haripada Biswas, a state assemblyman from Jagadal district, a stance he sees as hypocritical. The profits can be significant. Indian residents along the border complain that the markup also attracts illegal migrants from Bangladesh, who steal cows at night and dart back home.
In a bid to stem the rustling, the Murshidabad local government announced a cow-licensing system in Cows were issued photo IDs. Branding or ear tags were nixed as hurtful to cows and easily altered by rustlers.
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India has mostly turned a blind eye to the smuggling problem. Hindus consider cows sacred because of references in ancient religious texts.
Bangladesh has little incentive to raise the issue publicly either, analysts said, given that it taxes the smugglers and is quite happy not to pay India the duties that a legal trade would entail. Mohammad Jalal Uddin Sikder, professor of migration at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, believes that the cross-border business should be legalized to reduce the number of deaths in clashes; about cattle traders and border guards are killed each.
The two nations met to discuss the idea in , but Sikder acknowledges that legalization is unlikely anytime soon, given longstanding distrust between the two sides. About Us. People also searched for.
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