Suspected cattle smugglers have allegedly attacked a BSF commanding officer close to the India-Bangladesh border during the wee hours of Monday. Deepak Mondal, the second-in-command rank officer of the 145th battalion of the force is in a critical condition. The officer was allegedly hit by a four-wheeler in use by the smugglers at about 2 am at Belardeppa border post in the Sonamura area of Sipahijala district of Tripura.
As per report by The Indian Express, a senior officer said that critically injured Mondal has been air evacuated to Kolkata. The officer further revealed that Mondal was patrolling the area with his team to control cattle smuggling and other illegal activities along the “unfenced” part of the international border.
When Mondal spotted the smugglers, he along with his guards and driver tried to stop them.
The smugglers were reportedly equipped with bricks, lathis and machetes besieged the security team and beat them up before rounds were fired in the air by the Indian security force. The mob of smugglers hit Mondal from behind by the Bolero vehicle they were using, leaving him severely injured and then fled the spot.
Another Border Security Force soldier accompanying Mondal fired five rounds in the air from his assault rifle to curb the situation. The area where the incident took place has now been cordoned off.
So far, a number of BSF jawans have reportedly been killed by smugglers along the India-Bangladesh border. The number of these soldiers was 3 in 2013, 1 in 2014, 2 in 2015 and 2 in this year so far. As per records, Deepak Mondal is the senior-most officer attacked by cattle smugglers so far on the India-Bangladesh border.
Overall, the figures of BSF men being injured every year at this part of the Indian boundary is quite alarming. This particular incident of a senior BSF soldier being so badly hit by the smugglers points to the need of some serious action over the issue by the security forces and the administration.