The Border Security Force (BSF) on Saturday shot down three Pakistani smugglers in an encounter here in the Attari sector along Pakistan and seized a huge cache of drugs, arms and ammunition.
A search operation after the gunfight yielded 24-kg heroin, an AK-47, two pistols with cartridges, two magazines and 44 bullets of the assault rifle, 610 Pakistani rupees, and three Pakistani mobile phones. The BSF rules out that the intruders could be terrorists but is worried because they carried Ak-47 and additional ammunition.
BSF inspector general (Punjab frontier) Ajay Tomar and DIG MF Farooqui deconstructed the encounter for the media. "Since there was a specific input about a major drug consignment coming, the troops were on alert," said Tomar. "On being spotted, the smugglers, who had thrust a plastic pipe through the electric barbed-wire fence to push in the drug packets, opened fire and our jawans retaliated," he added.
"The Pakistani smugglers were armed heavily and had a very aggressive approach, as if they were desperate to push the consignment into India," said DIG Farooqui. "We don't see it as a terrorist activity but Ak-47 and additional magazines in their hands does pose serious questions. The mobile phones will be sent for forensic examination," he said in reply to a query.
Happy with the way the jawans had controlled the situation and failed a major smuggling plan, the BSF announced a reward of `3 lakh for the team involved in the operation.
BSF protests, Pak denies
After the gun battle, the BSF lodged a strong protest in a flag meeting with Pakistani Rangers but, as usual, the other side denied everything, even though a previous intrusion attempt had also started from a Pakistani post.
Same old method
Like earlier, the Pakistani smugglers yet again tried to push the drug consignment into India using a 10-to-12-foot-long plastic pipe pierced through the electric security fence. Heroin and ammunition are packed in cloth and slipped through the pipe, which has been the modus operandi for some time now along the fenced Punjab border.
1 AK-47 assault rifle
44 AK-47 rounds
13 rounds of pistols
3 Pakistani mobile phones
610 Pakistani rupees
1 mobile phone recharge coupon