A report published by this daily on December 7, on the dominance of smugglers on trains connecting Khulna to Benapole via Jashore, is alarming. According to the report, smugglers use the train service to illegally bring in banned and illegally imported goods and substances, including yaba and phensedyl, to the country. Not only that, a racket controlling the train operations does not allow the passengers to take their due seats unless an additional fee is paid to them.
While such incidents are unacceptable, they also pose several questions for the authorities: who are these smugglers, and how are they operating right under the noses of the law enforcement authorities, including the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB)? The report further suggests that the trains are stopped at random on the route to evade scrutiny by the law enforcers—sometimes by smugglers pulling the chains, sometimes by snapping the coupling hoses between compartments. And according to a trader, everyone from the drivers and law enforcers to the ticket checkers are on the payroll of the smugglers.
And it is the common people that suffer because of all that. They have to rely on the trains to commute from Khulna to Benapole because the roads are not in good condition. At a time when the government is committed to rooting out the problem of drugs from the country, such rampant smuggling of narcotics under the very watch of the law enforcers is surprising.
It is high time the government looked seriously into the problem and addressed it with a strong hand. The culpable law enforcers and train officials must be brought to book for their involvement in this. The government’s efforts to curb drugs should not only be directed against the drug dealers, but also all the others who are facilitating this illegal trade.