West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday took a strong stand against cattle smuggling, directing the police to catch the offenders even if they were from her Trinamool Congress.

However, she also asked police and the administration not to abide by the central government’s ban on cattle trade for slaughter “so long as the state doesn’t pass any law” on the issue.

Banerjee’s directive came during an administrative meeting at Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district.

“Cow smuggling has to be stopped at any cost. The police should take stern action to put an end to it,” Banerjee told the police officers present at the meeting.

“There should not be any smuggling of cattle, whatever the local politicians may say even if they are from my party,” she said.

On Monday, Banerjee had lashed out against the centre’s order, terming it as “unconstitutional” and said her government would challenge it legally.

“This is a destructive attitude to federal structure, unnecessary bulldozing, encroaching and interference to federal structure,” she had said.