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Day 55 – Q 3.How serious is the problem of cross border smuggling in India? What are the associated security threats? Discuss.

3. How serious is the problem of cross border smuggling in India? What are the associated security threats? Discuss. 

भारत में सीमा पार तस्करी की समस्या कितनी गंभीर है? संबंधित सुरक्षा खतरे क्या हैं? चर्चा करें।


India shares border with Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Border management becomes more important for the fact that India is like island of democracy between interrupted-stability facing countries.


There is cross border smuggling problem of drugs, cattle, humans, artefacts, fake currency note etc. which continuously contribute directly or indirectly to economic, social and political stability of our country.

Indian Bangladesh border:

  • India shares 4096.7 Km of its land border with Bangladesh. West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram are the States which share the border with Bangladesh. 
  • Cattle and other Smuggling:  Cattle from as far as Haryana, UP, Bihar is taken to borders for grazing and then smuggled to Bangladesh. Bangladesh also imposes custom duty on these imports. Cattle confiscated on border alone are around one lakh annually. This way government is losing revenue of around 10000 crore annually.
  • Along with cattle, smuggling of arms, and other essential items such as sugar, salt and diesel, human and narcotics trafficking, counterfeit Indian currency, kidnapping, and thefts are quite rampant along the India–Bangladesh border.

India Pakistan Border:

  • The boundary runs from the hot Thar Desert in Rajasthan to the cold Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Despite of fencing smuggling of drugs, mainly of Heroine is rampant at border of Punjab. It happens because villagers at both sides of border are accomplice to such activities. Further, involvement of local politicians is also there in these cases.
  • Illegal arms trading, fake currency notes have been a recurring problem along this border contributing majorly to the instability of this region.

India China Border:

  • Large scale smuggling of Chinese electronic and other consumer goods take place through these border points.
  • Supply of arms and money to trigger violence and terror acts are also witnessed here.

India Myanmar Boundary:

  • The location of the boundary at the edge of the “Drugs golden triangle” facilitates the unrestricted illegal flows of drugs into Indian Territory. Heroin is the main item of drug trafficking. The bulk of heroin enters India through the border town of Moreh in Manipur. It is reported that the local insurgent groups are actively involved in drugs and arms trafficking.

India-Nepal border:

  • Apart from insurgents and terrorists, many hard-core criminals pursued by Indian and Nepalese security forces escape across the open border. These anti-national elements indulge in illegal activities, such as smuggling of essential items and fake Indian currency, gun-running, and drugs and human trafficking.
  • Wiki Leaks documents have revealed that the ISI has created a number of terrorist fronts in Nepal and has also pushed in men and explosives through the border to carry out terror attacks in India.

India Bhutan Border:

  • Chinese made goods, Bhutanese cannabis, liquor and forest products are major items smuggled into India. Livestock, grocery items and fruits are smuggled out of India to Bhutan.

Associated security threats of cross border smuggling:

  • Augmented cross-border terrorism, penetration and ex-filtration of armed militants.
  • Smugglers, drug-traffickers are often in association with local offenders, lower rung political leaders and police officials and thus heavily impact the stability of the region.
  • Sense of dissatisfaction is created and misused by hostile elements to create a feeling of ill will against the security forces and the Government.
  • Vulnerable youth population is influenced and made to be hooked to drugs in exchange for unlawful activities.
  • Girls and women are illegally trafficked with no facilities to call for help or contact family.
  • Farmers shifting to poppy cultivation for better financial prospects.
  • India’s internal security challenges are increasingly being impacted by border security issues. Indian rebellious groups have for long been provided shelter across the nation’s borders by hostile neighbours.

Measures taken:

  • Border area development programme: The Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs has been executing a Border Area Development Programme (BADP) through convergence of Central/State/BADP/Local schemes and participatory approach and to develop security and wellbeing among the border populace.
  • Border security forces and guarding forces have been employed all across the borders for better management and to check infiltration.
  • Coordination committees between nations: These mechanisms serve as platforms for discussing issues of mutual concern like containing cross-border crimes, smuggling, and situation arising out of terrorist activities, at national and regional/local levels correspondingly.
  • Awareness programs to alert youth and residents of the region. Various government schemes too have been implemented to provide employment and encourage beneficial growth.


A comprehensive approach to the Border Management, which focuses on socio-economic development of the people and promotion of wellbeing and a security environment in the border areas, is an immediate need being addressed by the government. Involving all stakeholders and responsible implementation of measures should be strengthened to effectively tackle these threats.

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