The Central Bureau of Investigation today conducted raids at residences of an alleged cattle-smuggler and a BSF officer at Topsia and Salt Lake respectively to unravel the cattle-smuggling nexus along the India-Bangladesh border.
A source close to the agency said the raids in the city were just a part of the state-wide raids in search of suspects, ranging from BSF officers to persons wielding political clout who were instrumental in thriving the racket.
A group of officers split into 12 teams had fanned out across the state.
A team raided the residence of an alleged cow smuggler at Topsia, Enamul Haq and conducted search operation for more than two hours and was learnt to have confiscated incriminating documents.
Another team also knocked at a BSF officer Satish Kumar’s BJ block residence near Salt Lake’s City Centre 2 and sealed the residence after conducting search operation there. But the source did not confirm of seizure, if any, from there.
The BSF officer was posted at Siliguri before being transferred to Jharkhand.
The raids were conducted at 15 locations simultaneously at Rajarhat, Salt Lake, Topsia, Murshidabad, Berhampore, Lalgola, Raghunathganj and Siliguri and other parts of the state, the source informed.
The raids, against the cattle smuggling racket assumed significant since nine alQaeda operatives-six from Murshidabad and three from Ernakulam, Kerala-were nabbed from Murshidabad and Kerala respectively by the NIA recently.
The central agency’s raids were aimed at unearthing any link between the smugglers and the al-Qaeda operatives and whether that had gone into terror funding to procure arms and ammunition.
The source also claimed that the agency had names of several BSF officers and highly influential political leaders, who the agency believed were in cahoots with the alleged smugglers in running the racket.
The Enforcement Directorate is also likely to be involved in the probe of money trail that changed hands while smuggling.
According to the CBI official, the agency has been probing into cattle smuggling along the international border in Bengal for last one year. Cattle smuggling along the India-Bangladesh border has been a menace for the last several years.
According to sources in the BSF, smugglers tie socket bombs to the necks of the cattle while smuggling them to cause physical harm to the troopers when they are apprehended.