Silchar, Oct. 31: Infiltrators from Bangladesh have now found a new route for their ingress across the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya, raising the hackles of the BSF.
According to a senior official of the BSF in Cachar, a majority of these infiltrators are entering the country through this new route near Umthiang and Kuliang hamlets in East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya and easily get jobs in scores of open cast collieries thriving in that district that shares a border with Cachar district in Assam.
The extent of infiltration of the Bangladeshis in the adjoining state, described by the BSF official as largescale, can be gauged from statistics which state that in October alone, 92 people were apprehended while trying sneak past the security vigil along this border into the country or back to Bangladesh.
According to this source, the last such batch comprising 11 infiltrators was nabbed in the Umthiang border sector on October 25.
The source added that from this group Rs 30,420 in cash and four mobile phones were recovered. Five SIM cards(four Indian and one of Bangladesh), were also seized.
An owner of one such colliery volunteered to disclose that they were aware that engaging foreigners in rathole mining was illegal.
He confessed that the owners are always short of willing labourers to work in these mines as indigenous tribal workers do not prefer to extract coal.
He also said many of the Bangladeshis had been entering India without valid travel permits through the Tura sector for finding jobs in the collieries, particularly those located near the burgeoning subdivisional town of Khleriat in Meghalaya.
Meghalaya shares a 443km border with Bangladesh, many stretches of which are still unfenced.
Each such “infiltrator worker” who dig up the earth for extracting coal, bulk of which are exported to Bangladesh, are paid between Rs 350 and 500 a day.
The spree of illegal despatch of cattle across the international border to Bangladesh from adjoining Karimganj and Cachar districts also continues unabated.
BSF sources said that 103 heads of cattle worth Rs 9,60,000 were clandestinely moved across the border into Bangladesh last year.
BSF and police sources disclosed that a cartel of cattle smugglers from India and Bangladesh were involved.