Investigating a kidnapping case, the Assam Police have stumbled upon a culvert in the Karimganj district — which borders Bangladesh — that might have been used as a secret route to sneak in and out of the country.
Dilwar Hussain, a Karimganj resident, who was kidnapped last week, was taken to the neighbouring country using the culvert, police sources said.
The police are now investigating if the culvert is a regular route used by cross-border smugglers, traffickers and criminals for illegally entering India. They are also probing if the culvert is used by illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Last week, the Karimganj police received a kidnapping complaint from the family members of Mr Hussain.
“A missing case was reported and we picked up a suspect, Alimuddin, and Dilwar Hussain was later recovered. During investigation of the case, we took the accused and the victim to the area to find out how they sneaked into Bangladesh and came back, and found out that a culvert connects the border areas under the fencing,” Jyoti Ranjan Nath, the additional superintendent of police, Karimganj, said.
“We found that people can easily sneak into India and vice-versa. We didn’t find any BSF personnel there at that time,” he added.
The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 5 lakh from Mr Hussain’s family and asked them to hand over the amount to Alimmuddin, police sources said. But when the accused was arrested, Mr Hussain was released without any ransom.
The police officer added that in 2018, the Assam Police had arrested two illegal immigrants from Bangladesh who had used a similar culvert to gain entry into India.
The All Assam Students Union has reiterated its demand to seal the India-Bangladesh border in the wake of the detection of the culvert.