Agartala: An alarming spike in reports of infiltration at the Tripura border has prompted higher authorities of the Tripura Police Department to plan serious action against the border touts.
The term ‘border touts’ refers to individuals who facilitate illegal border crossings.
“These people are generally from the local areas. They have a fair idea about the geographical conditions of the borders, the timings of the BSF patrolling, and most importantly, they have good links with the local administration. Using their influence, they ensure that their clients (the illegal intruders) can cross over easily,” a senior official in Tripura Police told EastMojo.
This issue has become so severe that the Inspector General of Tripura Police (Law and Order) sought an action report from all the police superintendents regarding the border crimes.
“Within 24 hours, the IG received the reports with detailed notes on how the number of border infiltration has skyrocketed in the last one and half years. The police had also identified the locations exploited for this purpose. In some areas, barbed wire fencings had been destroyed using sophisticated wire cutters to breach the borders,” a senior official said.
Top sources in the police department said they launched a special drive against the border touts in September. “Several arrests were made during the intervening period”, the source added. However, the police did not wish to disclose any data on how many people had been arrested or brought to book for border violations.
Meanwhile, sources in the Border Security Force (BSF) said that all the bordering police stations regularly receive inputs from the adjacent BSF border outposts against suspects.
“BSF does not have the authority to take action against people who are not caught red-handed during the border crime. But, whatever intelligence input we gather from the ground is forwarded to the police and we tell them these are the people who we think are involved in facilitating border crimes. And accordingly, the police took action if they felt it was necessary,” a senior BSF officer has said.
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When asked whether the police take action, the source said, “Not really. The police have their own obligations, and it has to take care of several issues before taking any robust action.”
Local sources in areas like Sonamura in the Sepahijala district, Belonia in the South Tripura district, and Kailashahar in the Unakoti district added that people involved in such activities have political connections, which is exploited in times of need.
Security agencies have also come across a lot of Rohingya and Bangladeshi victims who had been promised work in India but were later forced into prostitution.
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