Farmer Sells Cows To Repay Loans, Arrested for Cattle ‘Smuggling’

Jharkhan farmer who sold two cows to repay loan taken for daughter’s wedding, jailed on charges of cattle smuggling.

Published23 Jun 2020, 03:52 PM IST
News Videos
2 min read

Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Sukesh Ghosh, a resident of Jharkhand's Sahibganj, had taken a loan for his daughter's wedding. He had to later sell two cows to repay the loan. However, police arrested the farmer on charges of cow smuggling and sent him to jail.

He had sold his cows to cattle traders from West Bengal. When traders were taking the cows, some villagers complained of cow smuggling. The police then called Sukesh Ghosh, identified the cows and arrested him.

“How will the poor people sustain? There’s a lockdown in place for more than two months. We don’t have any job. People have come from outside so they hardly have any money. He sold two cows for his daughter’s wedding. What can a poor man do? Why did they arrest him? Why have they put him in jail? Why are they not releasing him?”
Bhola Ghosh, Sukesh Ghosh’s Brother

Police has also arrested two sellers and a trader who had bought two cows from Sukesh and another cow from a villager.

Sweety Kumari, Sukesh’s daughter, pleads, “Please release my father quickly. We are poor people. We sold the cow because we had no money. Please release my father. My father takes medicines every day. If he doesn't take medicine even for a day, he'll die.”

However, police claims that not sending Sukesh to jail could have led to riots in the area.

“If people catch him, we have to send him to jail. Often, these things lead to communal riots. Then we don’t have enough time to analyse situations. Often, petty issues trigger communal riots. Several Bangladeshis are settled in the area.”
Krishna Mahato, DSP

Bajrangi Prasad Yadav, the Working President of Yadav Mahasabha in Jharkhand, says, “As per the cattle trading laws, cattle trading can be carried out with permission from the panchayat. We appeal to the chief minister to ensure justice for Sukhen Ghosh. If Sukhen Ghosh is not released from jail, we will sit on dharna across the state. We will fight for his justice.”

Talking about whether Jharkhand's farmers are facing injustice in the garb of the cattle trading law, Dayamani Barla, President, Adivasi Astitva Raksha Manch, said:

“Shops are closed, markets are closed. Farmers can’t even buy cattle for farming. They are scared. If you don’t understand their situation with sensitivity, if you consider farmers as cattle smugglers then if farmers buy cattle for farming, you will still treat them as smugglers. This is wrong. This will be an injustice for farmers.”

Despite a new Jharkhand government, why has the fate of the state's farmers not changed?

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