Kashmiri mutton dealers, who have suspended supplies of livestock to the valley from last three days, allege that despite paying all taxes in outside mandis, truckers on their way to the state are being demanded hefty amount as ‘illegal tax’ by local goons in Punjab. Last year also mutton dealers from the Valley had to face similar kind of harassment. The move had drawn ire from sheep and goat traders along with truckers as well who had alleged that vehicles carrying livestock are “detained by Punjab and Haryana police on the highway for hours every day, which delays the supply to Kashmir and poses threat to the life of the livestock.”Aggrieved sheep and goat traders on told Greater Kashmir that “gangs of almost two dozen local goons” in Punjab pretending to be Cattle Fair representatives are extorting a tax of “4 percent on the total live stock value” on trucks plying on the Pathankot- Madhopur- Lakhanpur road stretch in the name of ‘Punjab Cattle Fair Act 1967’.“We procure these animals from Gazipur in Delhi under valid documents and receipts and have been doing this trade for last several years. But since last two years, we have been paying Rs 6000 – Rs 7000 per truckload to goons who tell us that this is ‘cattle fair charge’.
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