Pakistan-based drug traffickers, who are trying to expand their network in India, have started sending small groups of men to explore safer route across northern parts of Punjab for delivering the contraband.
Infiltration activities across the international border in Punjab and Rajasthan have increased recently with two drug traffickers being killed and another arrested this week near Ferozepur in Punjab, which suggest that they are probing for new routes, according to IB officials.
"Two drug traffickers tried to infiltrate into India in Karanpur area near Ferozepur last Sunday. The BSF personnel asked them to stop and when they tried to run they were shot dead," an official said.
"Five Pakistani SIM cards, several Pakistani visiting cards, knife, cutters of fencing and some quantity of drugs were recovered from them," he said, adding such an incident during daytime is the first of its kind in recent years.
"Pakistan-based drug traffickers are sending small groups to this side of the border, through new routes on a trial basis just to take stock of the degree of preparedness of the security forces," he said.
On March 24, a Pakistani national was arrested near Gangai Nagar close to the border in Punjab and eight SIM cards of different Pakistani service provider like ZONG, TELENOR etc were recovered from his possession, they said.
The officials also said that the possibility of LeT's involvement in such cases could
not be ruled out.
Punjab has emerged as a favoured destination for the drug traffickers in recent years. Drug peddlers also use tunnels and river routes in the region to smuggle the contraband into India.
The traffickers' route so far adopted has been via Bikaner in Rajasthan, and Ferozepur and Amritsar in Punjab.
Home Minister P Chidambaram this week visited the forward areas in the region to take the stock of the situation at the international border.