An over 115 bovine animals being smuggled to Kashmir Valley were rescued by Jammu Kashmir Police who, as part of its continuous drive against bovine smuggling, arrested five people and seized 16 vehicles in Rajouri district during wee hours of Sunday.
Giving details, police said that 15-20 people were carrying bovine animals in 13 TATA Mobile and 3 Jongas (407) to Kashmir via Mughal road despite ban orders by Rajouri Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary on the transportation of live stock in vehicles till further orders. However, on seeing a police naka led by SHO Thanamandi police station Karan Chalotra near Churung bridge, the smugglers started unloading the bovine animals from the vehicles so as to carry them on foot through the nullah.
As police naka party reached near them, the accused started pelting stones on it. Additional reinforcement was called from District Police Lines at Rajouri and on seeing additional police personnel, they started running through forests on the hilly terrain. Five of them were apprehended by police after hot chase, while hunt is on for those absconding. All the arrested people hail from Rajouri district, police said.
Since blanket ban on transportation of bovine animals in vehicles in Rajouri district by the Deputy Commissioner, the smugglers have adopted a new strategy of crossing the nakas along with animals on foot and thereafter reload them after covering some distance, police said. Under supervision of Rajouri SSP Youghal Manhas, police have in the recent past foiled a number of such attempts to illegally carry bovine animals to Valley via Rajouri district, it said, adding that police have already lad additional nakas in Thanamandi area in view of its falling on traditional route of bovine smuggling via Mughal road.