Two Pakistani smugglers were injured and their Indian operative was killed in an encounter with BSF troops during an attempt to push drugs and arms into the Indian territory around Sunday Midnight.
The encounter took place in the area of the Harbhajan border out post (BOP) in the Ferozepur sector of the Indo-Pak border. A BSF jawan had a narrow escape as a bullet fired by a Pakistani smuggler hit the magazine of his INSAS rifle.
In retaliation, BSF jawans fired 119 rounds and two Pakistani smugglers were injured. However, their accomplices dragged the injured back into the Pakistani territory.
After the operation was over, the BSF recovered body of an Indian smuggler, Kuldip Singh, a resident of Khemkaran in Tarn Taran district, and seized 10-kg heroin worth Rs 50 crore, a German-made pistol, a magazine, four live cartridges and 10-12 foot pipe from the spot.
Two woollen shawls were also recovered ahead of the fence and one mobile phone with Pak SIM card of Jong Company was recovered from the killed Indian smuggler.
The seizures were made in the alignment of border pillar no. 154/16-17 and nearly 150 metre from the international border.
Talking to HT, BSF IG, Punjab Frontier, Aditya Mishra said, "Three to four Pakistani smugglers intruded into the Indian territory and two of them were injured in firing. We even showed blood marks to the rangers on Tuesday morning, but, as usual, they expressed ignorance about the incident."
The rangers denied that any smuggler has sneaked in to the Indian territory from the Pakistani side, he added.
The BSF IG said, "High vigil was being kept on the border as there were inputs that smugglers were active and were making efforts to push drugs into India. On March 18 night, troops deployed in the area under the Harbhajan BOP observed suspicious movement of three to four people on the border."
Around midnight, three to four smugglers sneaked in to the Indian territory and waited under a tree for about one-and-a-half-hour before moving further.
"Later, the Pakistani smugglers moved towards the border security fence and inserted a pipe through the fence. Their Indian operative, who was waiting on this side, also started moving towards the fence to lift the consignment," the IG added.
The BSF troops, who were keeping a close watch on smugglers, challenged them, but they fired at the patrol party. In the retaliatory fire, one smuggler was seen falling down on the Indian side, IG Mishra claimed.
Though Pakistani smugglers retreated, the BSF claimed that some of the intruders were also hit as blood stains were found on the spot. The BSF troops also spotted a trail of blood leading towards the international border and further to the Pakistani territory.
What happened on the fence
March 18 - 11.45 pm: BSF observes suspicious movement across the fence
March 19 - 12.15 am: Three-four Pakistani smugglers sneak in to Indian territory
Smugglers wait under a tree for an hour and a half
They move towards the fence and insert a pipe through it
An Indian smuggler appears on this side of the fence
As BSF challenges them, Pakistani smugglers open fire
Indian smuggler killed in retaliatory fire
BSF troops recover 10-kg heroin, a German-made pistol, four cartridges, a mobile phone and a Pakistani SIM