LAHAN, Sept 3: It has been revealed that cows from Nepalgunj are being smuggled into India via the East-West Highway.
This came to light after police recently seized a truck carrying 50 cows from bordering Bhaganpur Rural Municipality in Siraha district.
Police investigation later showed that the cows were being smuggled to India.
Police have arrested the truck driver Okesh Thapa, 32, of Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City along with his accomplice.
While 17 cows and calves, which were found dead, were buried following due process, the remaining other cows have been handed over to the District Customs Office in Siraha district.
According to Chief of Thanti Custom Office, Naresh Sah, they have auctioned the cows and calves.
The driver and his helper were released after posting a bail of Rs 300,000 Sunday evening. They face a charge of cow slaughter.
District Police Office, Siraha, has started a separate investigation into the case after the customs office released them on bail.
“We have expedited action against them on the charge of cow slaughter after 17 cows were found dead while smuggling them from Nepalgunj to India,” said Chief of Siraha District Police Office Uma Prasad Chaturbedi.
Sources said this smuggling was continuing for the past several months in collusion with the concerned units of Nepal Police, traffic police and Armed Police Force outposts. Smugglers used to cover truck with tarpaulin and easily smuggle them to India via the East-West Highway.
The smuggling case came to light shortly after the transfer of Chief of Province 2 Police.
Nepalgunj has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of stray cattle after the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has strictly enforced a ban on cow slaughter.
Locals believe that the stray cattle must have sneaked into Nepal from India. It is suspected that the cows could have been smuggled to another Indian state of Bihar as there are no strict rules in place against cow slaughter in Bihar.