GUWAHATI, Dec 16 � A well-organized gang of touts are involved on both sides of the international border to assist Bangladeshi nationals to infiltrate into India. This fact came to light following the arrests of a few touts by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Meghalaya recently.
BSF sources told The Assam Tribune that the illegal migration of Bangladeshi nationals to India came down after the arrest of a large number of foreigners in the months of October and November, following which, the border guarding force also stepped up vigil along the international border.
In the months of October and November alone, at least 130 Bangladeshi nationals were apprehended by the BSF along the Indo-Bangla border in Meghalaya and along with the foreigners, a few touts were also arrested. From the questioning of the Bangladeshi nationals and touts, the BSF came to know about the modus operandi of the touts, who are active on both sides of the international border.
Sources revealed that the touts based in Bangladesh get in touch with their Indian counterparts to finalize the timings and they choose a vulnerable location of the international border to carry out their operation. The touts of Bangladesh push the Bangladeshi nationals to India and immediately after crossing the international border, the Indian touts take charge of them and try to quickly take them elsewhere before they can be nabbed by the personnel of the security forces.
The apprehended foreigners and touts admitted that the rates of the touts for such operations are not very high. The touts normally charge between Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per person considering the paying capacity of the persons who seek to enter India and the vulnerability of the locations.
Of late, there have been efforts by Bangladeshi nationals to enter India to work in the coalfields of Meghalaya and Indian tours are also trying their best to bring in cheap labourers from across the border. The recent apprehensions proved that most of the Bangladeshi nationals were coming to work in the coalfields of Meghalaya. The BSF has already informed the State Government about the matter as there is a possibility of a number of foreigners working in the coalfields of Jaintia Hills and South Garo Hills. The Government of India has also been informed about the possibility of foreign nationals working in the coalfields.
Large patches of the international border in Meghalaya are still vulnerable as those patches are yet to be fenced and the fencing work has not started in 135 kilometres of the international border in the State.