Smuggling of skeletons and human bones to Bangladesh is on the rise in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, officials said.

“Twenty skeletons and human bones were recently seized from border areas of Murshidabad district while being smuggled to Bangladesh,” Deputy Inspector General (South Bengal) Vikash Chandra told PTI.

The skeletons and human bones are dug up from burial grounds in Burdwan, Jalangi, Beldanga in Murshidabad district, he said.

The skeletons are then cleaned, packed in cardboard boxes or jute bags before being ferried across the river by youths.

Each youth is paid Rs. 500 to carry the skeletons, Mr. Chandra said, adding that they are ferried for study and research purpose in the neighbouring country.

The smugglers buy the skeletons from the grave diggers for Rs. 2500 -3000 and sell them in Bangladesh at Rs. 6000 - 8000.

“The high price of skeletons and human bones makes it a better commodity to smuggle over clothes, cattle or fertilisers,” BSF officials said.