An 80-feet long tunnel dug between India and Bangladesh has been found by the Border Security Force. The tunnel was found in north Bengal during searches by the force along the 4,096 km border shared with Bangladesh. The BSF believes this one was being built by cattle smugglers to minimise the risk of detection by its guards.
BSF Deputy Inspector General Devi Sharan Singh at the BSF’s sector headquarters in Kishanganj told PTI that the smugglers were digging the tunnel under the fence. The tunnel was being constructed through a tea garden by the cattle smugglers for a long time, mostly at night, said the DIG.
Over the last 20 years, the BSF has discovered more than half-a-dozen instances of terrorists or drug traffickers digging a tunnel along the border with Pakistan. The last one was detected In February this year in Sambha area of Jammu and Kashmir. This one, meant to make infiltration from Pakistan less of a risk, was 20-feet long. It had been dug 2.5 feet wide, and was about that deep.
The tunnel, located in Chopra region of West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district, is the second instance of the BSF detecting a trans-border tunnel on the Bangladesh border. In early March, the guards had detected a tunnel at the depth of 20-25 feet in Meghalaya; it was about 200 metres from the border fence.
For a border that has many unfenced portions and was considered to be porous, the recent discovery is being seen as an indication that the border guards may have succeeded in making it much more difficult for illegal immigrants and cattle smugglers to cross over.
A week later, in mid-March, BSF personnel in Tripura detected smugglers trying to smuggle cattle from India to Bangladesh through an unfenced gap. According to the BSF, they fired at the smugglers when the alleged criminals tried to attack them, killing three of them.