Vigil up, heroin supply from Pakistan dips
The BSF has seized 163kg of heroin to date this year as compared to last year’s 242kg.punjab Updated: Oct 10, 2017 21:33 IST
In a respite for the drug-hit Punjab, the supply of heroin from across the border has decreased this year and if present trend prevails, it is likely to remain the lowest in past six years.
As per claims of the Border Security Force (BSF), the central force manning the Punjab’s international border with Pakistan, the drug supply from the neighbouring country has dipped due to “shoot on sight” policy adopted by the force since last year for drug smugglers active in and across the fence.
The BSF has seized 163kg of heroin to date this year as compared to last year’s 242kg. In the corresponding period last year, the BSF had seized 210kg of the contraband. Heroin is supplied from Pakistan through carriers along the border and suppliers sitting in Punjab send it to other cities in the country and abroad.
“The year is coming to an end and we don’t think the smugglers across the border are as active as they used to be in the past. Now, we simply open fire when we see any activity on our side. The low seizure does not mean that we have become complacent. Our alertness has increased and drug supply has dipped,” a commandant-level officer posted in the Ferozepur sector said.
BSF officials who showcased the increased vigil along the border to a team of scribes from Chandigarh in different posts near Hussainiwala, said security along the border was increased after the Dinanagar and Pathankot terror attacks.
“Vigil has been increased along the border in Punjab in past one year and now on every half a kilometre, you will see a BSF trooper keeping watch on activities on the other side of the fence,” said another BSF officer.
The move of installing CCTV cameras on some strategic points has also helped the force to check activities of smugglers, especially in the riverine areas. In the Amritsar sector, a pilot project is underway to lay infrared intruder alarm (IRIA) to detect intrusions.
BSF officials also considered the anti-drug campaign launched by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh as one of the reasons behind dip in supplies.
Head of Punjab government’s anti-drug special task force (STF) and additional director general of police (ADGP) Harpreet Sidhu said shrinking of drug market in Punjab is also one of the reasons for low seizures.
“If supply from Paksitan has decreased multiple factors must be responsible for it. The special drive against drugs has tightened the noose around the drug cartel and many suppliers have gone underground or have started purchasing drugs from Delhi,” said Sidhu.