Section 144 along border to stop smuggling
The Malda administration has clamped dusk-to-dawn prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 along the India-Bangladesh border in the district to prevent smuggling and infiltration, which have been on the rise over the past two months.
The move follows a written request from BSF officers. The prohibitory orders will be in force in the border areas from 6pm to 6am, sources in the administration said. The police are conducting a campaign to inform the citizens about the restrictions, under which more than four persons will not be allowed to gather in an area.
Malda shares a 170km border with Bangladesh spread over six blocks — Kaliachak I and III, Englishbazar, Old Malda, Habibpur and Bamangola. Of this, around 50km of the land border is unfenced while another 30km is riverine.
Four battalions of the BSF are posted at the border, manning around 60 outposts in the Malda sector.
In the past few months, the BSF has seized several hundreds of cattle that were being smuggled to Bangladesh through river routes. The smugglers have come up with an innovative method of tying banana tree trunks on either side of the cattle and making them float across the river.
“Along with cattle, the smuggling of syrups and drugs had also been on the rise in the past couple of months,” a source in the BSF said. BSF officers had held a meeting with their Bengal police counterparts and decided to jointly step up vigil along the border to stop smuggling, following which Section 144 was imposed.