Farmers along the Indo-Pak border in Punjab are slowly being lured into drug smuggling,data with the Border Security Force (BSF) has revealed. In the past year alone,the border force has arrested 32 farmers including over a dozen with land on either side of the international fence for allegedly smuggling narcotics,particularly heroin. The BSF claims to have recovered drugs worth several crores from them.
Of the 32 farmers,22 including 14 from Tarn Taran were caught in the Amritsar sector of the border,while five were picked up from the Gurdaspur sector and the remaining from the Ferozepur belt.
Around 16 of these farmers either have land near the fence or across on the other side. If the data is of any indication,it seems that the drug-smuggling bug has hit farmers of all ages. The oldest of those caught is 80-year old Dyal Singh of Naushera Dhalla village in Tarn Taran district. Dyal has land across the fence and he was allegedly caught with four packets of heroin worth Rs 3.75 crore. The youngest,on the other hand,is 18-year-old Sukhdeep Singh of Kalnaur.
The BSF attributes the phenomenon to farmers coming in contact with drug couriers. Most of these farmers develop relations with drug couriers from across the border when they visit their land on the other side the fence. They then start indulging in such illegal practices, said IG BSF Aditya Mishra . Authorities say farmers pick up plastic pipes,used to conceal drugs,left by the couriers and then attempt to transport them across the border. It is here,in most cases,that they are intercepted. Our troops are alert and have managed to foil the attempts, Mishra added.