Cuttack: The court of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) here Saturday began proceedings against Mohammad Azimuddin as accused, who is suspected to be the mastermind of an inter-state cattle trafficking racket.
Conducting preliminary hearing of a petition filed by Biswa Go Surakhya Bahini state president Suresh Kumar Panda, SDJM Bijay Kumar Das put Azimuddin, a resident of Gazimillat Colony of Hyderabad in Telengana, on trial as a criminal.
In his petition Panda had alleged that hundreds of cattle were being trafficked illegally from Orissa to other states. The racket is allegedly being carried on under the patronage of police. The police are turning down the complaints and shielding Azimuddin, it added.
According to the petitioner, Azimuddin had been trafficking cattle from Calcutta in containers and trucks for a long time.
Acting on a tipoff, activists of Biswa Go Surakhya Bahini had intercepted a container near Sikharpur Square November 28 last year and brought the vehicle to Chauliaganj police station. As many as 84 cattle were rescued from the container, Panda said.
Panda said he had lodged a complaint with Chauliaganj police against the owner of the container and others involved in the trafficking.
However, the police allegedly refused to register a case.
Subsequently, Panda submitted a complaint with the SDJM court alleging police inaction. Panda had stated that the accused were trafficking cattle in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, MV Act 1978 and directives of Animal Welfare Board and Orissa High Court.