Women farmers run for cross-border drug peddlers in Punjab

Women farmers run for cross-border drug peddlers in Punjab


Amritsar: The Border Security Force (BSF) expects a large-scale smuggling of heroin into India from Afghanistan via Pakistan. The reason, say BSF officers, is the bumper opium crop in that country and huge money being offered by smugglers to Indian farmers, especially rural women, living in border areas.

This year alone, the BSF has seized 99 kg of the contraband from the Punjab border. The biggest obstacle, say BSF officers, are the women carrying the drug, whom the border guards find impossible to check, given the absence of women guards in the ranks.

“We don’t have women staff, so we have to call in the Punjab police for checking, but transporting staff in these areas everyday is difficult. At times, we have to let the women go without checks," said SA Khander, additional deputy inspector general (Jalandhar range).

“After the ouster of the Taliban regime, which had banned opium cultivation, the crop is back, and this year there has been a bumper harvest," the DIG said.

The smugglers are being paid anything up to 30,000 per consignment of approximately 100 kg of the contraband, BSF sources said.

Some of the farmers on the Indian side of the border have their land located between fencing pillars and the International Border, where they are contacted by smugglers and heroin is brought into the country.