Not a single Pakistani smuggler has been arrested this year despite the BSF having seized 215 kg of heroin,worth about Rs 1,075 crore,from the Pakistani side of the fence. The border force attributes this to a change in the smuggles modus operandi.
Sources in the BSF say that the Pakistani smugglers have become smarter and now engage their Indian counterparts to transport the contraband in areas close to the border. They add that the Pakistani smugglers leave their consignment at a rendezvous point and flee,leaving their Indian counterparts with the dirty work of having to collect it. Authorities say that the Pakistani couriers have begun using plastic pipes to smuggle heroin as the pipes pass easily through the fence. In a bid to collect the thrown heroin,more Indian smugglers are falling into the BSF net,sources said.
The figures bear out the facts. In the corresponding period last year,the BSF had killed 11 Pakistani smugglers while not one has been caught this year. On the other hand,the border force has apprehended around 18 Indian smugglers in the past eight months. In 2012,while one Indian smuggler was killed,around eight were apprehended.
The BSF says that most of the Indian smugglers are those who have land on either side of the fence.
A senior BSF official said that these farmers develop contacts with the couriers from across the border during their visits to their lands and then indulge in such illegal practices to earn easy money.
While BSF guards accompany the farmers to their land,the force claims that the farmers develop contacts through their phones.
BSF DIG RPS Jaswal admitted that Pakistani smugglers hardly cross the border fence and as such, the BSF can only fire at them. He added that the force can catch the injured if they fall before entering Pakistani territory,which is around 150 yards from the border fence.
The BSF,however,had caught 16 Pakistani border crossers this year but they were all returned as a good will gesture as nothing objectionable was recovered from them.