Wake up call: New trend of bovine smuggling alarming

Highway hijackers put police on tenterhooks

Zorawar Singh
Jammu Tawi, May 7: They were neither druggists nor the thieves but bovine smugglers, who struck four to five times on the Jammu-Pathankot national highway putting J&K Police on tenterhooks and giving nightmares.
Although the police kept linking the leads to handiwork of drug peddlers, thieves and anti-national elements but the truth unveiled took the cops by surprise as the hijacked vehicles were used for smuggling bovines by dodging policemen within the vicinity of Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts .
“It was a unique and a new modus operandi used by the bovine smugglers this time to give slip to tight check laid on bovine smuggling,” police sources said.
They said that hijacking of cars and jeeps during the incidents kept the police personnel busy working on different theories barring bovine smuggling-which raised their eyebrows when cracked.
“As tempo vehicles and open vans carrying bovine were intercepted by the police at check points and it was problematic for the smugglers to transport cattle to destinations,” sources said and added that to dodge police, the smugglers adopted new technique of smuggling them following which they targeted vehicles on the highway.
“After using the hijacked vehicle for shifting bovine to the destination and further transporting it to Kashmir valley, the stolen vehicle was left abandoned,” police sources said.
They said that the accused used to pay handsome by their ‘Aakas’, who supply the smuggled bovine to Kashmir valley.
“Transportation of bovine to Kashmir in large by these smugglers using the hijacked vehicles cannot be ruled out,” police said.
However, DySP Rafiq Manhas, SDPO Gandhi Nagar, who is known for his smart policing, is the man, who cracked the high-profiled mystery of ‘Mission Hijack’.
Sources said that the Cop worked on a lead, on which hardly anybody from the department initiated to solve the mystery of vehicle snatching.
After his day-night efforts, the DySP managed to catch hold of main accused identified as Mohammad Aslam, son of Murad Baksh, resident of Chack Manga, Samba, Farman Ali alias Surmu, son of Roshan Din, resident of Ande Chack, Hiranagar, Mohammad Shafi, son of Abdul Majid, resident of Bhool Ramkot, Billawar, Kathua and Mumtaz Ali, alias Billu, son of Faqir Ali, resident of Rakh Sarkar, Hiranagar.
Police also seized one motorcycle and a tractor tralla from them.
On April 17, 18, May 1 the current year, the incidents of hijacking of cars and taxies were reported on the highway in twin districts.
The hijackers used to beat the driver, snatch money, mobile phones and later fled away with the vehicle, which were found abandoned elsewhere after resulting into smuggling of bovines. “The accused used to immediately smuggle the bovines in the said vehicles to hideout outs of bovine mafia from where they used to further transport animals to Kashmir valley,” informed sources further adding that “the accused had managed to smuggle bovine animals N-number of times in the recent past.”
Police however, also claimed that they should have learnt the lesson from the first episode but surprisingly, four incidents took place and there was no lead with them.

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