KOLKATA: The cattle smugglers active in West Bengal’s India-Bangladesh border region are tying improvised explosive devices around the cattle’s neck to take on the jawans of the Border Security Force (BSF). The strategy risking the lives of the security force personnel came to light after the BSF personnel seized cattle from a border area in Malda district last month.
“We never came across such modus operandi to challenge our men before. Using such IEDs could fatally injure both cattle and person who caught it. A message alerting our men has been conveyed to all the border out-posts along the Indo-Bangla border,’’ said Y.B. Khurania, inspector general of south Bengal frontier.
“Bearing-balls, bolts and pieces of sharp articles were used as shrapnel which could have been fatal had the IEDs exploded,’’ said a BSF officer.
Interrogation by the state police personnel, who were handed over three cattle smugglers last month in Malda, also revealed the IEDs were procured from Murshidabad district.
“They collected the IEDs from a supplier who deals with IEDs and crude bombs. Murshidabad and its adjoining Malda districts are infamous for manufacturing IEDs and crude bombs. The two districts cater most of these contraband items to hooligans, smugglers and criminals,’’ said an officer of Malda district. “A BSF jawan was attacked with crude bombs when he had chased a group of cattle smugglers at Basirhat border last month and the security person’s hand had to be amputated,’’ he added.
The manufacturing cost of each of the IEDs tied around the cattle’s neck was around Rs 150 to Rs 200 and the cattle smuggler had to pay Rs 500 for each one. “The accused smugglers confessed that they could bear the cost of the IEDs because the profit margin in the illegal trade is quite high,’’ said