Around the 12th National Assembly elections, shipments of illegal weapons and explosives are entering the country through various border routes of Rajshahi region. Various types of weapons are also being recovered in the operation. However, one of the routes of illegal firearms is the Shibganj border of Chapainawabganj. Explosives are coming through some border points of Chapainawabganj. According to related sources, 25 syndicates are active in arms smuggling at various borders of Rajshahi region including Chapainawabganj. Law and order forces including Border Guard Bangladesh and RAB are keeping a strict watch on the identified members of these gangs.
According to a source of BGB, a team of BGB’s Johorpur Tech border outpost conducted an operation in Padmar Char area of Narayanpur border of Chapainawabganj Sadar before the evening of October 27. At this time Monirul Islam (50) of Suryanarayanpur village was arrested with a bottle. A foreign pistol, a magazine full of bullets, one round of bullets and 7 kg 400 gm of gun powder were seized from Patil. During the operation, Monirul’s son Khairul Islam (22) escaped by jumping into the river. BGB filed a case under Arms and Explosives Act at Sadar Model Police Station.
Meanwhile, 53 BGB battalion captain Lt. Colonel Nahid Hossain said that the borders of Padma Char area of Chapainawabganj are very inaccessible. Because of this, many times it is impossible to carry out a quick raid. Still, the BGB continued surveillance and patrolling at these points.
Sources related to the law enforcement force also said that the Shibganj border crossing of Chapainawabganj is one of the routes of firearms smuggling. Besides, illegal weapons and explosives are brought from India to Bangladesh through third parties through three border crossings in Rajshahi and three in Naogaon. Various vegetable and fruit trucks also carry weapons to avoid law enforcement attention. Sometimes the carriers are caught by RAB, police and BGB. Most of them are teenagers and young adults.
Sources of the law enforcement force also said that depending on these syndicates, the Indian gang leaders are located across the border in Kaliachak, Vaishnabnagar, Khojapur, Mozampur and Samsherganj areas of Murshidabad bordering Malda in West Bengal. They procure weapons as per demand from Munger in Bihar. There are illegal weapons manufacturing factories in Munger. These weapons were first stored in the border villages of West Bengal. From there it came to Bangladesh through the border in the hands of the syndicate. There is another syndicate for carrying and smuggling of illegal weapons. They contact the buyers of weapons in Bangladesh and fix the price on the condition that the shipment reaches a certain destination. Sources in the law enforcement agencies also said that even when arms smuggling is intercepted, it becomes difficult to reach the main owners.
It is known that those arrested involved in arms smuggling have admitted that those weapons are sold at double the price if they are written in Japan or USA. However, although Japan and USA are written on the arms, they are made in Munger, Bihar. Munger, Bihar manufactures replicas of portable firearms from any country in the world as per demand. Even the AK-47 rifle can be made by Munger artisans.
Meanwhile, BGB Rajshahi Sector Commander Colonel Imran Ibn Rauf said that BGB is always alert at the border points so that any illegal items including weapons and explosives cannot enter through the border. Not only because of election time, BGB position on the border is always tough.
Lieutenant Colonel Riyaz Shahriar, the commander of RAB-5 of Rajshahi, said that we have information that arms smuggling syndicates are stockpiling domestic and foreign weapons for the purpose of violence in the upcoming parliamentary elections. However, RAB is vigilant about arms deals.
It is reported that along with RAB, members of 59 BGB have recovered 11 firearms and 45 rounds in the border in the last few months. Lieutenant Colonel Golam Kibria, the commander of BGB’s 59th battalion of Rahanpur, said that BGB is keeping a strict vigil on the border to prevent the arrival of weapons.