Bangladeshi smuggler killed, another injured in BSF firing along Tripura border

Agartala, March 18 (IANS) A Bangladeshi smuggler was killed and another injured as BSF troopers opened fire, after being surrounded by the gang, along the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura’s Unakoti district on Sunday, officials said.

The BSF also apprehended three Rohingyas from the Agartala railway station on Sunday after the trio came to Tripura from Hyderabad to go to Bangladesh clandestinely.

On the border incident, BSF officials said that force personnel at the fence near the Magroli Border Out Post, observed 15 to 20 smugglers approaching the border from the Indian side, while another 25 to 30 came from the Bangladesh side carrying some contraband.

The BSF troopers challenged them to stop but the smugglers didn’t pay heed, became aggressive, encircled the team, assaulted a BSF personnel, tried to snatch the weapon, and attempted to pull him into Bangladeshi territory.

Sensing imminent danger to life, the BSF personnel opened fire with pump action guns, killing one of the Bangladeshi smugglers, later identified as Saddam Hussein, 23, a resident of Moulvibazar district, while another smuggler was injured but taken to Bangladeshi territory by the smugglers.

A BSF trooper got a grievous injury on his forehead and was evacuated to the nearby district hospital where he was provided preliminary medical treatment. His condition is now stable.

A Border Security Force spokesman said that its Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, in a joint operation with the Railway Police Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP), apprehended three Rohingyas from Agartala railway station.

Acting on specific information, the joint party apprehended Hamid Hussain, 23, Abdur Rasik, 24, and Mohammed Yusuf. All are residents of Myanmar. Further legal action is being initiated.

GRP officer-in-charge, Agartala railway station, Tapas Das said that the detainees said that they had entered India through the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal eight years back and had gone to Hyderabad.

The trio confessed that they had come to Tripura to go to Bangladesh but failed due to security alertness and heightened security given the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

According to the BSF, they arrested 744 persons – 112 Rohingyas, 337 Bangladeshi nationals, and 295 Indians – in 2023 for illegally crossing the international border in Tripura. In 2022, the BSF detained 369 persons – 59 Rohingyas, 160 Indians, and 150 Bangladeshi nationals – along the state’s 856-km-long border with Bangladesh.

In a separate operation on Sunday, BSF troopers, along with RPF personnel, seized 290.50 grams of suspected brown sugar, valued at Rs 1.45 crore, from a general coach at Kumarghat railway station in northern Tripura.

The drugs were packed in six soap cases which were gift-wrapped to avoid suspicion or detection by security personnel. No one was arrested in connection with the seizure as the drugs were found abandoned.

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