SSB alerts all posts along Nepal after Covid-19 intel on arms, FICN smuggler
The SSB has alerted all its units along the Nepal border following an intelligence input that a notorious arms and fake currency smuggler may try to infiltrate people into India who could be infected with coronavirus, officials said on Friday.
They said the border-guarding force has also informed its Nepalese counterpart, the Armed Police Force, after the SSB's 47th battalion based at Ramgarhwa in Bihar's East Champaran district informed the local administration of such a possibility early this week.
'All our units all along the 1,751-km-long Nepal border were already on alert since cross-border movement was stopped due to the ongoing lockdown enforced in the country to contain the spread of COVID-19,' a senior Sashastra Seema Bal official said.
'With this new modus operandi being detected and intelligence generated, we have asked all the units to be cautious.'
He said the border units of the force have been asked to be vigilant against any suspicious movement and to enhance patrol and electronic surveillance.
The official said the Commandant of the battalion at Ramgarhwa has informed the local administration and intelligence agencies about the activities of the Nepal-based arms and fake Indian currency notes smuggler Jalim Mukhiya and his 'plans to spread coronavirus in India.'
But, he added, this could also be a plan of the criminal to continue his illegal trade during lockdown by using Bihar migrants returning home from Nepal.
SSB Director General Kumar Rajesh Chandra told PTI that both India and Nepal are jointly taking steps to ensure the sanctity of the border.
Mukhiya, according to the SSB intelligence, is a resident of Jagannathpur village in Parsa district of Nepal and was chargesheeted for arms smuggling and FICN cases in both the countries.
The input states that about 200 Indians who work in various countries,along with 5-6 Pakistani nationals, are residing in a mosque in Chandanbasra and Khairwa villages across the border.
The SSB input said more people are expected to reach border areas in the coming days and try to cross over to India illegally.
The input said these people may adopt the strategy of consuming paracetamol tablets to keep their body temperature normal to avoid detection by SSB or state police.
The intelligence has been shared with other states that share border with Nepal and have been asked to remain vigilant, the senior official said.