Security forces manning the Indo-Pak border not only come across drug mafia trying to smuggle in contraband from across the border but occasionally also innocent Pakistani teenagers who are unaware of the gravity of their illegal action of crossing into Indian territory.
Border Security Force (BSF) authorities show magnanimity in handing back to the Pakistani Rangers these youngsters who try to cross the international border either in the hope of meeting their favourite Bollywood stars or escape police in their own country after indulging in petty crime.
Some youngsters also cross over into India after picking up fight with their families or are even inspired to cross over in view of many Pakistani artistes working on this side of the border.
Past records show that about 30 teenagers from Pakistan have crossed over into Indian territory in the past three years under different circumstances.
BSF IG (Punjab Frontier) Aditya Mishra said, “Definitely, we have seen a lot of teenagers coming from across the border into Indian territory in the past few years. Our observation is that there are a few reasons that bring them to the border fence.”
Many times, IG Mishra said, it was seen that Pakistani teenagers who had a fight at home or committed minor crime in their own country ran towards the border. They felt that the solution to the troubles was on this side, he remarked.
“Indian cinema and Pakistani artistes working in India are also an added attraction for Pakistani teenagers to stray into Indian side,” the IG added.
During their meetings, both BSF and Pakistani Rangers reiterate their resolve to take a lenient view towards persons crossing the border inadvertently.
“In our bilateral meetings, this commitment is made. Moreover, we feel that if a youngster is innocent, it is good to send him back home rather than a jail. If an innocent kid lands up in prison and interacts with criminals, he is bound to get influenced,” the BSF officer pointed out.
He said that the BSF was making efforts to bring down the number of such intruding teenagers by asking Pakistani Rangers to be more vigilant as well as sensitise Pakistani people about the international border.
Year Intrusions by Pak teenagers Handed over to Rangers
2010 7 3
2011 8 7
2012 11 11
2013 2 2