At least 5 persons, including 2 BSF personnel, were injured when villagers attacked a border outpost in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district on Sunday night, officials said.
The incident took place around 10pm at Umsyiem village near Dawki town, 100 km south of the state capital, when a mob attacked the outpost, officials said on Monday.
BSF Meghalaya Frontier inspector general Pradip Kumar told PTI, “In the last few days, we seized a number of items meant to be smuggled to Bangladesh and identified the smugglers. Due to this, they led a mob to attack the outpost forcing the BSF to retaliate by firing in the air.” In a statement, the BSF said they seized clothes worth over Rs 2.7 lakh meant for smuggling.
“The BSF foiled two smuggling bids on Sunday. In the morning, they seized clothes worth Rs 2.21 lakh at Umsyiem village. At night, the BSF seized sarees worth Rs 50,000 dumped by smugglers in the same village,” a BSF spokesperson said.
The BSF suspected that the smugglers brought the crowd in retaliation to the seizure and gheraoed the outpost.
At least 2 BSF personnel were injured after they were hit by stones pelted by the mob, he said, adding some of the villagers tried to enter the outpost forcefully but they were pushed back.
An eyewitness, who claimed that three villagers were also injured in the face-off, said the incident took place when a vehicle with three occupants allegedly broke down near the outpost.
“This infuriated the BSF who accused the trio of being smugglers and charged them. The news of the attack spread and nearby villagers came to their rescue,” he said.
The villagers also accused the BSF personnel of being drunk on duty, which was refuted by the IG.
Kumar said local police and senior BSF officials rushed to the spot to contain the situation.
The BSF has initiated an internal inquiry to probe into the matter, he added.
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