BSF has been asked to strengthen vigil along the porous Indo-Bangla border in Meghalaya after top arrested militants told security agencies that it was a major route for entry of ultras and smuggling of weapons into India.

Questioning of a couple of top arrested militants has prompted the Meghalaya police to ask the BSF to step up vigil along the border, particularly in the Garo hills belt of Meghalaya, a top police official said.

Meghalaya DGP S.B. Kakati told PTI that movement of militants and arms smuggling were indeed taking place along the Bangladesh border. “It is a matter of concern and we are taking it seriously,” he said.

NDFB ‘sergeant major’ Godadhar Hajong, arrested by BSF recently, told Meghalaya police that he crossed the international border in Garo hills about 50 times and ferried arms to his accomplices in Meghalaya and Assam, officials said.

In 2007, Hajong, along with some accomplices, ferried 16 AK rifles, 15 grenades and 2000 rounds of ammunition and delivered them to their accomplices at Nokchi in Meghalaya who then took them to Assam, according to police interrogators.

He smuggled arms and explosives from Bangladesh to Assam via Meghalaya on several occasions, entering India through the porous border points at Ramchenga, Ghasuapara, Debajani and Nokshi — all in Meghalaya’s Garo hills region.

Involved in a number of subversive strikes in Assam, Hajong, who had joined the NDFB in 1990, revealed that two—three cadres of the outfit used to cross over to India at a time, mostly in the early morning hours and while returning to Bangladesh, they preferred the early evening time, police said.

Trained in guerrilla warfare, Hajong revealed two men from a minority community had approached him in 2008 and had asked him to take pictures of all major bridges in Siliguri (North Bengal) in order to blow them up with IEDs. But, he could not get the opportunity to do the job, they said.

He also claimed that at the time of his arrest, some NDFB cadres were planning to enter India with 3 AK rifles, 2 Chinese rifles, three sniper rifles, 12 grenades and 3,000 rounds of ammunition.

An ULFA cadre, Bhanu Koch alias Bikash Koch, who was arrested recently in Meghalaya, revealed that “some top leaders” of Meghalaya-based Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC), with which a ceasefire is on since 2004, are acting as conduits in the movement of ULFA and NDFB cadres to and from Bangladesh besides abetting cross-border trans-shipment of arms and explosives.