Jalandhar: The international border with Pakistan in Punjab is slowly emerging as the preferred area for illegal Bangladeshi migrants to cross over into Pakistan as the first step towards finding employment in the Middle-East, Border Security Force officials said.
In the last four-and-a-half years, BDF has apprehended 72 illegal Bangladeshi migrants who had arrived in Punjab looking to cross the border.
"Alert BSF jawans posted at the international border in Punjab have over the past few years foiled several bids by illegal Bangladeshi migrants to cross over into Pakistan," BSF (Punjab Frontier) Inspector General Aditya Mishra said.
Two such migrants have been arrested so far this year while trying to cross the border. "Since we have arrested these persons who were looking to cross the border, it has to be assumed that such attempts are being made to use the Punjab route to enter Pakistan," Mishra added.
Intelligence officials meanwhile said that whereas the illegal migrants earlier used to take the Kashmir route to cross the border, tightening of vigilance along the Line of Control had seen them now flock to Punjab.
"Poor and illiterate Bangladeshis fall prey to unscrupulous agents who promise them passage to and a job in the Middle-East before taking money from them and leaving them in the lurch," Mishra said.
He added that in most cases, if the illegal migrants managed to give BSF jawans the slip, they would invariably fall into the clutches of the Pakistani Rangers.
"It has happened sometimes that Pakistani Rangers have asked us to take back some of the illegal Bangladeshis whom they happen to have caught in their territory.
"But we cannot oblige them as these people are not Indian citizens," Mishra said.