SHILLONG, April 18 � Indian and Bangladeshi smugglers broke open the Indo-Bangla international border fence gate in Garo Hills in a brazen attempt to sneak out with four coal-laden trucks into the neighbouring country.
The incident occurred at Border Out Post Kanai, South Garo Hills district in the wee hours of April 14, BSF officials said. According to the officials, BSF troops noticed some movement of miscreants near the Indo-Bangladesh border fence who were trying to smuggle coal from India to Bangladesh.
It was noticed by the BSF troopers that Indian and Bangladeshi smugglers had come together to break the lock of the international border fence gate. �However, when the BSF troops confronted the smugglers they fled to Bangladesh under cover of darkness leaving the trucks behind,� BSF officials said.
The BSF seized all the four trucks loaded with coal. They said that one truck bearing No. ML 09 A 6728 is from Meghalaya and the other three trucks bearing No. AS 01 EC 0612, AS 18 C 5070 and AS 01 EC 2043 are from Assam.
�Ownership of the trucks could not be ascertained as all the drivers had fled; however, it is being investigated by police. The attempt of smugglers to smuggle coal in such a huge quantity is probably first in Kanai area,� the BSF officials stated.
After the incident, the BSF has approached the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to enhance its surveillance to curb smuggling activities of Bangladeshi nationals in Indian territory.
The BSF said it is planning to have more simultaneous coordinated patrolling with the BGB in those areas where such smuggling attempts are possible, especially in difficult terrains in the Garo Hills region.
The BSF said such smuggling is a new phenomenon and smugglers have become desperate after coal mining has been banned and transportation of coal has been restricted by the National Green Tribunal.
On account of the new challenges, the BSF said that it has enhanced vigil on the known routes of coal transportation which is in Baghamara, South Garo Hills, Barsora (West Khasi Hills) and such other routes close to the international border with Bangladesh.
Moreover, the border guards have been equipped with special surveillance equipments including night vision goggles, monocular and hand-held thermal imagers for effective surveillance during night.