The BSF have left the 300 plus livestock to die a slow death

Cattle killers: Will the BSF be pulled up for the inhuman killing of cattle in West Bengal?


The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Starting 2014, the ‘cow’ became the national issue, ‘gaurakshaks’ became the dreaded reality and ‘cow vigilantism’ saw the affairs of the nation take an unprecedented turn with the number of cow-related lynchings it brought with it.

The BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP) aka the protectors of the cows, maintained a stoic silence with regards to the death of 44 people, who died in cow-related violence between May 2015 and December 2018.

Nobody from the Hindutva preaching, fascist right-wing party condemned the lynchings at the hands of caste-supremacist, vile, inhuman men who ran amok on the streets of the country beating up minorities – Muslims and Dalits – in the name of illegal cattle trading and beef consumption.

Notwithstanding that the largest beef exporting companies in the country are owned by Hindus, the BJP has not only worked to instill fear among the cattle traders, it has also given the Border Security Force (BSF) the charge of ending the smuggling of India’s holy cows to Bangladesh that thrived along outposts near the Indo-Bangladesh border.

In August, the BSF had 2700 cattle that they didn’t know what to do about in their custody out of more than 19,000 seized by them this year itself.

The result?

The slow death of the livestock at the hands of the BSF.

A letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Kirity Roy, Secretary of the Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) and National Convenor (PACTI) Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity; mentioned that the “BSF personnel of Khandua BSF Border Outpost, had seized around 350 buffaloes before 9th October 2019, that were about to be smuggled across the border and kept them in custody for a prolonged period of time without food, water and other basic necessities. As a result several buffaloes are getting killed every day”.

Khandua, which is situated at the banks of the river Padma faces severe restrictions from the BSF for being close to the international border of the Lagola area in Murshidabad. With incidents of cattle smuggling being commonplace, it is good that the BSF has worked towards the riddance of this menace.

However, in a show of extreme animal cruelty, it is now treating the animals inhumanely by not providing them with any food or water and kept under direct sunlight with no shelter, leaving for them to die a slow death.

The letter further says, “Even after the death of the animals, the BSF personnel are not taking any proper action to disperse the corpse but rather paying the villagers to take away the dead animal and throw it into the river in an inhuman way. River and water-bodies are being polluted by the act of BSF. The locals are being paid rupees 500 for dispersing the dead animal. They tie the head of the dead animal to their tractor and drag them through the villages to the Padma River. These incidents inflict shock in the villagers, especially children. The dead animals are either thrown into the river or on the river banks. Keeping aside the inhumane act of the BSF towards the animals, it is also a fact that the perpetrators are severely contributing to the environmental pollution by randomly disposing off the dead animals into the river and river banks. It is also unsettling that why the BSF is keeping them in custody under such adverse conditions and not selling the cattle in auctions, which could on the one hand bring income for the government.”






Will the BSF be punished?

Will the government pull up the BSF for violating Section 11 (i) under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 that states acts of torture against animals causing unnecessary pain or suffering is punishable under law and the Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which states that anyone responsible for maiming or killing an animal will be punished under law. The random polluting of the river by the BSF also violates the Goal numbers 3, 15 and16 of Sustainable Development Goal earmarked by United Nations and the government of India is a party and have agreement in this international instruments.

What animal rights activists demand

Ms. JaleshaBawa, on the behalf of the villagers has lodged a written complaint against the cruel actions of the BSF to the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad district on October 10, 2019, but in vain.


In the letter addressed to the NHRC, Roy has demanded that apart from the gruesome murder of these animals being investigated, the guilty officials of the BSF and the Commandant of BSF battalion no. 78, Company Commander of Khandua BOP under 78 BN BSF should be prosecuted under  a) Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (as amended in 1988), b) Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, c) Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 and d) Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 must be booked and persecuted for their crime.

He has also asked they cease the disposal of the dead livestock into rivers and has implored the government to rescue these animals and auction them for sale as per the Supreme Court guidelines.

Given that the killing of cattle became a national controversy under the BJP government, will the nationalist party now pull up one of its own for the disrespect to these animals or will they be let go because it was buffaloes who were killed and not the ‘holy’ cows?


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