Claiming that the Border Security Force’s enhanced vigil and the increased cultivation of ‘heroin producing crops in Afghanistan’ had led to relatively more seizure of the contraband at the India-Pakistan border this year, director general of the organisation, KK Sharma, said Pakistani smugglers were trying to push more contraband into the country.
Till August 13, the BSF has seized 168kg heroin, for an average of 26kg per month. In 2017, 279kg heroin was seized (average of 23kg per month); this was an increase over 230kg heroin seized in 2016 (19kg per month).
If the average for this year continues, 2018 heroin seizure could touch 300kg.
Answering a media query on the increasing seizure of heroin at the border, Sharma said, “It shows that we are more vigilant, more alert and therefore seizures are more. Another main reason is that the cultivation of plants from which heroin is derived is on the rise in Afghanistan. Due to this, Pakistani smugglers are trying to push more contraband into India.”
He was addressing a press conference after participating in the Beating Retreat Ceremony on the occasion of the country’s 72nd Independence Day at the Attari-Wagah border.
Detailing on projects that the BSF was working on to improve operations and increase security, he added, “As a pilot project, we have installed a Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System at the 5.5-km India Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir. Union home minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the project soon. We have used the latest technology and gadgets.”
He added, “We have inducted five new battalions for Punjab frontier to check narcotic smuggling. We have also improved coordination with agencies like the Punjab Police, the National Narcotics Bureau, the DRI and the Customs. We are fighting the drug menace together and we will succeed.”