Instances of illegal immigration and cross-border infiltrations have increased in 2021 compared to the previous year, Border Security Force (BSF) Inspector General Sushanta Kumar Nath, who is heading the force in Tripura frontiers, said Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters at the BSF sector headquarters this evening, Nath said 208 “intruders” were arrested this year while trying to cross the Indo-Bangla international border from different parts of Tripura. This includes 115 Indian nationals and 93 Bangladeshi citizens.
The figures are higher than 131 intruders, including 85 Indians and 46 Bangladeshi nationals, arrested last year. In 2019, 236 people were arrested while crossing the border.
“There was a rise in intruders this year. All of them aren’t simple intruders too. Many of them are criminals, smugglers and infiltrators,” the official said, adding, BSF jawans are maintaining a tight vigil along the border.
However, there are no Rohingyas or foreign nationals other than Bangladeshis arrested this year. As many as 53 Rohingyas and one Nigerian national were arrested in 2019 in the Tripura-Bangla frontiers.
The BSF also seized a cache of illegal items worth Rs 31.27 crore and contraband items worth Rs 12.94 crores this year along the Tripura-Bangla frontiers.
This includes 60,812 yaba tablets, 30,070 bottles of contraband cough syrup, 12,067 kg processed cannabis, 8,351 bottles of liquor and 2,288 cattle worth Rs 2.34 crores.
The border sentinels also destroyed Rs 7.76 crore-worth cannabis plantations this year in collaboration with the state police and other security agencies.
The BSF statement came shortly after a high-level meeting of BSF and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) held at Shillong between November 27 and 29 this year.
Tripura, which is surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides, shares an 856 km international border, parts of which are still unfenced.
On the unfenced patches of border in the Tripura frontiers, the BSF official said several of them were resolved with BGB and work is on at a “very high pace”.
Most of these unfenced border patches are scheduled to have single row fencing as there are people living within 150 yards of the border in many of these places. Composite fencing and composite border outposts are being erected on the eastern side of Tripura.
“We hope all work will be over by the end of 2022,” Nath said.
Appealing to the youths of Tripura not to be “misguided” to join insurgent outfits, the BSF official asked outlawed insurgents to surrender and return to the mainstream.
Twenty-five cadres of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura’s (NLFT) Biswamohan faction have laid down arms before the BSF in the last five years.