The influx of thousands of Uzi submachine guns, capable of firing 1200 gunshots per minute and favourites of USSS (United States Secret Service) for their lethality in Bangladesh market, after being routed through drug dealers, has alarmed security establishment in India.
The fact that Bangladesh is witnessing a wave radical extremism and Pakistan’s ISI is thought to be very active even in government administration in that country, security experts are alarmed over the possibility of an unrest in that country, which is dangerously tilting towards Wahabi Islam.
Security officials raised alarm over the fact that West Bengal, which shares the longest border with Bangladesh, is going to polls next year.
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal in the late 1940s shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel. The prototype, which was finished in 1950, was first introduced to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) special forces in 1954.
An official, who refused to disclose his identity for tactical reasons, said NIA is keeping an eye on West Bengal considering the fragile security scenario in Murshidabad, Malda, North Dinajpur and some other bordering districts where Jamaat-Ul-Mujahideen and Ansarullah Bangla Team, both terror groups from Bangladesh, operatives carry on recruitment drive among local youths.
“The influx of Uzi submachine gun, which is highly reliable and deadly accurate when used appropriately for short bursts during surprise attacks in Bangladesh which is our immediate neighbour is alarming from security point of view. I must tell you this same weapon was once used during an assassination attempt on ex-US president Ronald Reagan. We fear such sophisticated weapons invented by an Israeli army official during Arab-Israel war must not fall in the hands of terror groups. It’s very alarming for West Bengal,” he said.
He said Uzis are military-graded firearm and are unlikely to be owned by civilians unless they illegally procure these weapons.
Explaining the subject, he said Bangladesh police said they have recovered it from a drug dealer.
A retired military intelligence official said India needs a multi-pronged formula to tackle the grave security issue.
“We need a multi-pronged formula to pin down terror elements. The recovery of Uzi enhances the responsibility of the BSF to keep and strict vigil along the border and launch crackdown on suspected individuals and cyber cell must also be tracking calls coming from Pakistan and Bangladesh. A smart coordination of all those units and pinpointed execution can avert any disater. Mind you, West Bengal’s situation can be volatile in the coming days to come as elections are nearing. There are diverse interests of so many elements with vested interests from both India and outside can be involved. Let’s not allow West Bengal to be a testing lab of all types of anti-national activities. Our governments must ensure it,” he said.
A source in Bangladesh said representatives of the Bangladesh Arms Dealers and Importers Association said the guns are only replica rifles made in Germany and were imported legally with accurate declarations.
According to Nasir Ahmed, secretary general of Bangladesh Arms Dealers and Importers Association, claimed that the Bangladeshi arms law allowed the import of semi-automatic weapons.
A cross section of intellectuals in Bangladesh expressed concern over the deteriorating law and order in Bangladesh and rise of militant Islam.