Hume pipes found along the India-Bangladesh borders in Assam have turned out to be a convenient mode for infiltration and cattle smuggling.
A recent incident that came to light during an investigation into an alleged kidnapping case in Karimganj district has thrown light into the frequently used route adopted by smugglers and infiltrators.
“We received an FIR regarding a person who was abducted to the other side of the border, following which we went to the area. We can only say anything about the secret tunnel only after proper investigation. There are some serious issues in some particular areas. We have taken up the matter with the BSF and intelligence agencies,” said Mayank Kumar, Karimganj Superintendent of Police.
The alleged kidnaping for ransom was reported from the border village of Dalgaon under Neelam Bazaar Police station of the district.
According to sources, two men identified as Alim Uddin and Dilwar Hussain were reportedly abducted on December 27, 2020. A day later, Alimuddin called Hussain’s family and informed them about their abduction to Bangladesh.
He also said mentioned abductors have demanded a ransom of Rs 5 lakh for their release which was then reduced to Rs 2 lakh.
Hussain came back a day later and the matter was reported to police. Alimuddin also allegedly managed to return after paying the ransom amount.
The duo were taken to the area on Friday when they showed to police the Hume pipes through which they sneaked out of the double layered barbed fence along the international border.
In was found that trenches in a garden led to one the Hume pipes that were placed under the road to drain out rain water in the area. The trenches were tactfully covered with branches of trees to camouflage from security forces.
According to Alimuddin, the Hume pipes, about 15m long, are used by infiltrators and cattle smugglers frequently. The BSF and state police are now investigating the matter.
In June 2017, the BSF had seized 249 cattle and contraband items worth Rs 82 lakh from near the border in Meghalaya. The BSF spokesperson had then said, “It appeared transportation of cattle from hinterland to border areas was continuing without hindrance and smuggling was rampant.”
The spokesperson had also said the seized cattle were smaller in size and were smuggled through Hume pipes and once they reached Bangladesh, they were fed fattening drugs.
In May 2018, the Karimganj police had arrested two Bangladeshi smugglers at Kandi village near the border. According to police, a group of seven smugglers had entered the Indian territory after passing through the barbed through a Hume pipe.
(With inputs from Gourish Nandy from Karimganj.)
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