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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Criminals attempt to over-run BSF outpost in WB to free notorious smuggler Alamgir Mandal

In a shocking incident, with no recorded precedent along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, armed criminals forced their way into a Border Security Force (BSF) outpost (BOP) in the North 24-Parganas district late on Friday evening in a bid to ‘capture’ it and free a smuggler apprehended with large quantities of narcotics and Phensedyl cough syrup.

BSF troops and the police had a tough time beating back the miscreants who left four troopers, including a woman Seema Prahari seriously injured. One of them has been referred to Kolkata by a hospital in Bagdah for treatment.

“On Friday, troops of the 68Bn BSF, under the South Bengal Frontier, posted at the Mamabhagina BOP received information of large quantities of narcotics and Phensedyl cough syrup stored in the houses of Alamgir Mandal, Sukhdev Mandal, Sukumar and Pabitra at Nawadapara village in the Bagdah police station area. These were meant to be smuggled across the border into Bangladesh. Phensedyl is a banned item in that country. The Company Commander immediately informed the Bagdah police station as per set procedure and left with a team for Nawadapara. This was around 8.10 p.m.

“Once there, the troopers launched a search operation in the presence of village elders. Alamgir Mandal was apprehended with 43 kg Ganja and 371 bottles of Phensedyl. The attack began when the BSF personnel were taking Alamgir to the BOP along with the contraband,” a senior official of the South Bengal Frontier said.

The miscreants attacked the jawans with sharp weapons, iron rods, lathis and stones. The attack was so vicious that the Company Commander was forced to call for reinforcements and police assistance.

The BSF personnel, meanwhile, continued to combat the criminals without allowing Alamgir to escape. They were finally forced to use non-lethal Pump Action Guns (PAGs) to beat back the miscreants to prevent the BOP from being overrun.

Once the pellets started flying, the criminals were forced to make a hasty retreat but not before the BSF identified Sahadeb Rai, Kalokman Dafadar, Toton Mandal, Laltu Mandal, Razak Mandal, Hussain Mandal, Zahidul Dafadar, Jahan Ali Mandal and Mijanur Mandal.

All of them are allegedly accomplices of Alamgir, a history sheeter and among the most wanted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in that area.

Alamgir has been smuggling drugs across the border for six years now but this is the first time he has been apprehended.

“It was only after the arrival of reinforcements and a team from the Bagdah police station that the injured jawans could be evacuated to a hospital in Bagdah. The miscreants ran amok inside the Mamabhagina BOP, destroying CCTV cameras, recorders and computers. We are proud of our personnel for having held on to Alamgir despite the attack.

“Due to the proactive role being played by the BSF, border criminals are now scared and resorting to such tactics. However, there shall be no hold up in our operations and the miscreants identified will be apprehended soon enough. An FIR has been lodged at the Bagdah police station and Alamgir will be handed over to NCB, Kolkata, with the seized items,” said Sanjay Kumar, DIG, BSF, Sector Headquarters, Krishnanagar.

It is pertinent to mention here that ahead of the Panchayat polls in West Bengal that are to be held in the next few months, politicians have been inciting the border population to take on the BSF who they accuse of excesses.

The West Bengal government has also vehemently opposed extension of the BSF’s jurisdiction to 50 km inland from the international borders by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The BSF, on its part, maintains that the Force should not be dragged into politics as it has a clear-cut mandate to prevent crime along the border.

So far as relations with the border population goes, a senior BSF official cited several instances where the Force has provided assistance to villagers by rushing sick or injured people as well as pregnant women to hospitals.

The Force also organises events such as orientation camps to encourage the village youth to join the security forces of the country.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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