BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul has claimed she has foiled an attempt to smuggle cattle across the border and rescued nine cows. Paul, in a tweet, claimed she had stopped a truck loaded with cows on National Highway 2 on her way to Kolkata from Asansol. "Stopped a truck loaded with cows Asked for papers but found none…Cow Smuggling is ON in full swing," she alleged in her tweet.
The fashion designer-turned-BJP leader also alleged that those in the truck told her that the police had been bribed to allow the "smuggling". Reacting to Paul's comment, the TMC wondered whether the first-time BJP MLA had taken up the job of cow vigilante. "Cows are transported from one part of the state to another in vehicles such as matadors and trucks. There is nothing new about it. The BJP MLA trying to find a cattle smuggling angle is nothing but an attempt to politicise the matter," TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.
Later, while talking to reporters, Paul said when she apprehended the truck, the drivers confessed that the cattle were being taken to the India-Bangladesh border. "After I apprehended the truck full of cows, the drivers admitted that they were taking it to the border to smuggle it. We have handed over the truck and the driver to the police. I hope action will be taken against the culprits. This incident proves that the cattle smuggling is on in the state without any attempt by the police to stop it," she said.
Earlier this year, CBI and ED arrested TMC leader Anubrata Mondal for his alleged involvement in cow smuggling, turning the political spotlight onto allegations of cattle smuggling in the state. The TMC has dubbed the allegations of corruption against the party as "baseless and politically motivated".