From Bhupen Goswami
GUWAHATI : Assam Rifles has seized foreign cigarettes and a large quantity of arms and explosives worth Rs 6.53 crore from two districts of Mizoram bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh. This information was given by the officials. Sources said 502 cans of foreign origin cigarettes worth Rs 6.53 crore were seized and three persons arrested on Ruantlang and Kelkang-Khaungaleng road in Champai district adjoining Myanmar in eastern Mizoram.
The operation was carried out jointly by Assam Rifles and Customs Preventive Force. In another raid, central paramilitary forces along with Mizoram police on Thursday recovered three pistols, 174 live rounds, three kg of explosives, nine detonators and other stores including improvised explosive devices (IED) from a forest in Hamavangbu village of Longtalai district bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh. Assam Rifles said in a statement that the seizures were a “huge blow to enemy elements” who had procured these weapons and ammunition to carry out violent activities.
The ongoing drug trafficking is a major cause of concern for the State of Mizoram, especially on the Indo-Myanmar border. “Assam Rifles as a sentinel of the North East have continued their efforts against smuggling activities in Mizoram and other North Eastern States,” the statement said. ’’ Speaking at a virtual discussion organised by industry body FICCI earlier this week, Assam Rifles Director General Lt Gen Pradeep Chandran Nair had said that the force has seized smuggled goods worth over Rs 1,603 crore in Mizoram and Manipur since last year. Lt Gen Nair had said, “Assam Rifles personnel alone seized smuggled goods worth Rs 857 crore last year as against Rs 746 crore worth of drugs seized so far this year.