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Cattle-loaded trucks easy prey to extortions

06 July 2022

Staff Reporter  :
Truck loaded sacrificial cattle loaded for various destinations across the country are the quick source of extortions although all those cattle are brought to Dhaka and other places for religious purpose.  
The cattle traders alleged that they are being compelled to pay extortions in various names like Eid bonus, Eid Salami and money for Chaa-Paani (tea and crackers).
Such unabated extortions have irritated the cattle traders who are not getting rid of this situation despite repeated complaints to the concerned authority.
When extortions take place, it naturally affects the price of the sacrificial animals for the Eid-ul-Azha.
The police administration said that they are receiving multiple complaints of extortions from the traders concluding that none will be spared for such illegal activities.
There are only a few days remaining for the Eid-ul-Azha and people have already started visiting different Haats throughout the city where 18 Haats have been set up this time.
Truck loaded animals from different upazilas and districts are arriving in Dhaka. The sad thing is that cattle traders say that  they are being victims of extortions at different points on the highways.
Even Fisheries and Livestock Minister last week in an inter-ministerial meeting directed the police administration to remain alert to tackle any sort of extortions.
But the traders point out that they do not see any effective measures to protect them from extortions, which contributes to the price hike of the sacrificial animals.
In addition to the extortions, the cattle farmers and traders said they were compelled to pay minimum Tk 10,000 to Tk 30,000 for getting a suitable space in the Haat.
Lebu Mia, a cattle farmer from Benapole, has brought 20 cows to the Gabtoli Haat to get a good price but he alleged that he faced extortions at different points in the highways.
"I have brought 20 cows this year. But I had to pay a total of Tk10,000 at different points on the highways. I am really tired of this. Now I have to sell the animals at high price to cover the loss," he said.
Savar Model Police Station sources said that they had found some allegations from the Bepari and cattle farmers about the extortions they faced at Amin Bazar while entering Dhaka.
"We have received some allegations about extortions. We have taken the matter seriously. None will be spared if found guilty of extortion," Officer-in-Charge of Savar Model Police Station Kazi Moinul said.
He also said that if anybody filed a complaint, actions will be taken accordingly.
Cattle farmer Ahmed Ullah said, "I had to pay Tk 20,000 for a suitable place in Gabtoli Haat. This time the Haat authority is charging much money. If I cannot sell the cattle, the total money will be a loss."
"We are facing extortions and harassment in the ways but none is there to look after it," another cow trader Abu Taher said.
"I have given Tk15,000 in the highways to bring five cows in Dhaka. Now I have to sell the animals at high price. We are really helpless.," Akram Hossain, a cattle trader said.
Chief Coordinator of Gabtoli Haat Sanoar Hossain denied the allegation of taking exorbitant money from the cattle traders for keeping their animals in the Haat.
 "We are not taking excessive money from the cattle traders. We are taking a small amount fixed by the authority," he added.
Additional Police Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Media Wing) Hafiz Al Asad said, "The police are on high alert so that the traders don't face any trouble. Our police force is providing all sorts of assistance. We did not get any allegation of extortion yet. But if we get, action will be taken."

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