Smugglers bolder due to BSF’s pump action guns

Correspondent Shillong, July 13 | Publish Date: 7/14/2018 12:19:19 AM IST
Bangladeshi smugglers have become bolder after the Indian border guards are pump action guns instead of regular INSAS rifle for guarding the Bangladesh border, Director General of Border Security Force, K.K.Sharma said on Friday.
Sharma said the non-lethal weapon, known as pump action guns is not used on India-Pakistan border.
“BSF is following a policy of non-lethal weapon. This is has been done with the purpose to reduce the killings of Bangladeshi nationals on the international border … Whenever a Bangladeshi is killed on the border, the government in Bangladesh comes under tremendous pressure and as a result our ministry of external affairs through ministry of home affairs told us to reduce the number of killings of Bangladeshi nationals on the border,” the BSF Chief told journalists here in Meghalaya.
“Because of this strategy, the Bangladeshi smugglers has become bold and attacks on the BSF troopers have increased and roughly 150 BSF troopers are injured every year and last year, we lost one officer and one man in clashes with Bangladesh smugglers,” Sharma revealed.
Moreover, he said, no Bangladeshi smugglers have been killed but only Indian smugglers have been killed by BSF.
When asked if non-lethal weapons are used in maintaining law and order situation in trouble-torn Srinagar, the BSF Chief said, “In Kashmir, non lethal weapons are used only in the Bangladesh border and not on the Jammu and Kashmir border. We are not in law and order duty in Kashmir valley.”
“In Srinagar, if there is a law and order, BSF is not deployed but it is the CRPF along with local police and at times if it is an encounter with the militants, the army also comes in but the BSF is not involved. However, I would not like to comment on the weapons used in Srinagar,” Sharma said.
Sharma said that the overall number of cattle smuggling to Bangladesh has come down in the last two to three years as a result of more deployment at crucial places and identification of vulnerable areas and better coordination with the local police.
“BSF is the last agency to try and stop the cattle smuggling, cattle is collected from all over the country and from the hinterland it is brought to the international border. In West Bengal, there are many cattle hatas very close to the international border and consequently it comes very difficult to stop 100 per cent on the incidents of cattle smugglings.
You must also realised that the local population is also dependent since time immemorial on cattle trade and therefore their livelihood depends on this and it is a humanitarian issue and we must realised.  But we are constantly trying to stop it and reduce it.”  
Noting that radicalization of Islam is a worldwide phenomena, Sharma said, “The government of India is very conscious and alive to the situation and all necessary steps have been taken to counter radicalization in India BSF is prepared to deal with any misadventure from other side on the border.”

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