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Smuggling only motive for infiltrators from Bangladesh: Border Security Force

An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier. File photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: AP

Smuggling seems to be the only motive for people who cross over illegally from Bangladesh, the Border Security Force (BSF) has found along the India-Bangladesh border in western Assam.

According to a BSF official, there was no other intention behind the cross-border movement of 277 people caught near the international boundary during the last 12 months ending November.

“The arrested intruders were examined and smuggling was found to be the only motive behind their infiltration,” Rajesh Kumar, Inspector-General of the BSF’s Guwahati Frontier, told journalists at a function to observe the raising day of the force on December 1.

“We did not find any other motive,” he added.

There is a perception in Assam that the India-Bangladesh border is porous, making it easy for Bangladeshi people to cross over and stay on to eventually become Indian citizens through illegal means. Elections are fought on the fear of such “Bangladeshis” threatening to change the State’s demography.

Data provided by the BSF said 32 of the 277 people caught for illegal cross-border movement between December 1, 2019, and November 30 this year were Bangladeshi smugglers. The rest were Indian smugglers.

During this period, the BSF’s Guwahati Frontier comprising Dhubri and South Salmara districts of Assam and Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, seized cattle, narcotics and other illegal items worth ₹22 crore.

This, Mr. Kumar said, was possible because of routine surveillance and 24-hour simultaneous coordinated patrols carried out by the BSF and Border Guards Bangladesh, their counterpart across the border, to check cross-border movement and crime.

The BSF official admitted that the smugglers often regain possession of the seized cattle after they were auctioned as per laid-down rules. The force had in the last 12 months prevented 24,060 cattle from being smuggled out.

“We have taken up the auctioning issue with the Dhubri (district) administration officials, who told us that an exercise of tagging the animals is being undertaken as part of a national programme. We hope the seized cattle, if tagged, cannot be smuggled again,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 8:56:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/smuggling-only-motive-for-infiltrators-from-bangladesh-border-security-force/article33229615.ece

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