Have no factual data to back claims; Cite NIA report pointing at links between beef traders and terror activities that does not mention Goa
PANJIM: After facing flak from the beef traders in the State, Honorary Animal Welfare Officers (HAWO) of the Animal Welfare Board India (AWBI) on Friday claimed that beef traders from Goa could be linked to terrorists from across the country’s borders. However, the members have no factual data or incident to back their claim.
Seven out-station honorary officers of the AWBI on Friday addressed the media in Panjim claiming that Goa was under a cloud of massive illegal beef and cattle trade, which could have terror links.
However, when asked to back their claims with evidence, the members pointed to the four cases of illegal slaughter booked in the State in 2017 and said that the cash transactions from the trade are used for funding terrorist activities.
Rakesh Pandey from Mumbai said, “There is massive illegal trade in the country. We are not talking about the registered abattoirs, which we do not claim do not do illegal trade. But the money flow from the unorganised market, where the dealings are all in cash and across the border. So anything that is coming from across the border in Kolkata, it reaches Goa and vice-versa.”
Trying to further substantiate his point, he said there are cases in Gujarat where cattle are smuggled across the border and money is received from the other side.
Questioned if there is any evidence of an incident, Pandey said, “The way illegalities are happening today, there are great chances, and its happening. Give me few more days, I will give you specific case.”
HAWOs claimed that in a report submitted by the NIA to the Government of India, the investigating agency has pointed at links between beef traders in the country and terror activities. However, they admitted there is no mention of Goa in the report.
On being questioned about the alleged harassment to beef traders in the State, Poonam Kapoor said that the HAWOs were invited by the enforcement agencies when an illegality is reported or beef is seized.
Senior police officers denied contacting HAWO or AWBI. “It is not mandatory to contact them either. Presence of FDA Assistant Veterinary Director is mandatory and was called,” the officer said.
Quraishi Meat Traders Association (QMTA) had alleged that HAWO destroy the meat before being sampled by splashing phenyl over the seized meat and upon testing declare it unfit for consumption.