SHILLONG: To tackle the escalating issue of smuggling along the Indo-Bangladesh border, the administration of East Jaintia Hills has invoked prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC. The stringent measures, effective from 6 pm to 5 am, encompass the movement of individuals within 5 km of the "border belt," aiming to deter activities such as illegal border crossings and the smuggling of cattle and various goods.
East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner A Baranwal, acting on the information provided by the Border Security Force (BSF), stressed the BSF's mandate to prevent trans-border crimes, including smuggling, and other illicit activities. The BSF has reported the heightened susceptibility of the area to the smuggling of cattle, betel nut, dry fish, biri, cigarettes, chai/patti, and drugs.
According to Baranwal, the BSF has observed a significant gathering of smugglers and anti-national elements near the international border during nighttime hours. This gathering poses a substantial risk as individuals attempt to smuggle goods both from India to Bangladesh and vice versa. Additionally, concerns have been raised about the potential infiltration of members of various terrorist outfits and Rohingyas from Myanmar, who have been denied refugee status by India.
The imposition of Section 144 comes in the wake of a recent brutal murder in the region. On January 6, Chiang Dkhar, a 50-year-old resident of Umkiang, lost his life in an attack by Bangladeshi miscreants in a betel nut plantation in Lumsoski, located just a few kilometers from Umkiang. The incident underscores the urgency of addressing the challenges posed by smuggling and unauthorized border activities, prompting the local administration to take decisive action to safeguard the region's security and integrity.
As the prohibitory orders come into effect, the East Jaintia Hills administration, in collaboration with the BSF, aims to disrupt the networks involved in smuggling and trans-border crimes while ensuring the safety and security of the region's residents.