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24 June 2024

Drugs flowing into Cumilla thru 60 border points

Abul Khair, Cumilla

Published: 08:03, 22 May 2024

Drugs flowing into Cumilla thru 60 border points

Photo: Messenger

Around 60 points along the border with Cumilla district are now being exploited as transit routes by drug traffickers and smugglers. Five of the district's 17 upazilas share a border with India. Formidable criminal syndicates involved in drug trafficking and smuggling have established operations at these 60 border crossings.

This information has been gathered after talking to law enforcement agencies and locals. Various types of drugs like yaba, phensedyl, tapentadol, and skars are pouring in at tornado speed through these border points day and night.

Investigation has revealed that Adarsha Sadar, Burichang, Brahmanpara, Chauddagram and Sadar Dakshin upazilas in Cumilla share borders with India. At least 60 points along this border are being used for unrestricted entry of drugs like yaba, phensedyl, cannabis, liquor etc. from India. 

Apart from these, various other items including beer and sexual stimulant tablets are also being smuggled into the country from India through traffickers. Some notable and known points in these five upazilas are Charnol, Bareswar, Shankuchhail, Rajapur, Haidrabadnagar in Burichang; Shashidal, Ashabari, Nayanpur, Tetabhumi in Brahmanpara; Bibir Bazar, Bauara, Golabari, Shahapur, Shiberbazar in Cumilla Sadar; Ekbalia, Talpatti, Subarnapur, Chauara, Joshpur, Sripur, Koneshtala, Doribatgram, Rajeshpur in Sadar Dakshin; Gomarrbari, Amangonda, Chafua, Jagannathdighi, Golpasha, Boshontopur, Shatbaria, Panpatti, Tarapur, Kaicchhuti, Komardhoga, Poddua in Chauddagram.

Khairul Alam Rubel, a resident of Burichang border area, said that there are multiple groups of drug traders in each area. There are 30 to 50 drug and smuggling operatives at each point. 

The drug traders are so brazen that they even attack and kill people and law enforcers. A few years ago, journalist Mohiuddin Sarkar Naim was killed by bullets from drug traders in Haidrabadnagar border area of Burichang. His family and colleagues allege that smuggler Mohammad Raju called Mohiuddin on purpose and killed him. Raju was later killed in a gunfight with RAB.

In Lalbag area of Suagaji union under Sadar Dakshin upazila, there was a gunfight between drug traders and RAB members during an anti-drug drive, leaving a RAB member critically injured by bullets from the traders.

According to police sources, in late 2018 the home ministry published a list of 82 drug traders and their patrons in Cumilla district. Extensive operations were then carried out in the five border upazilas. The list included names of some political leaders too. Around that time, 22 listed drug traders were killed in reported 'gunfights'. 

Almost daily, yaba, phensedyl, cannabis and other drugs are being seized in raids by RAB, BGB, police, DB and the Department of Narcotics Control in the district. However, locals allege that RAB, police and BGB's anti-drug drive has slowed down recently.

Cumilla Police Super Abdul Mannan said, “We are conducting regular anti-drug drives. The border upazilas are under special surveillance. DB police are also carrying out anti-drug operations, leading to seizures of drug consignments almost daily.”

He added that Cumilla is a border area, so they are working to control the drug menace. But some drugs are still being smuggled by evading police and law enforcement's watch. They are also working to curb smuggling.

RAB-11 CPC-2 Company Commander Mahmudul Hasan said, “Cumilla is a border area with an extensive network of drug traffickers and smugglers. RAB members are working tirelessly against drugs. Drug traders and smugglers are being arrested regularly. Our efforts remain unabated.”