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Sari Smuggling Unravels Along India-Bangladesh Border

© AP Photo / Bikas DasA woman holds saris of companions taking holy dips at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and Ganges River on Makar Sankranti festival in Gangasagar, India, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017
A woman holds saris of companions taking holy dips at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and Ganges River on Makar Sankranti festival in Gangasagar, India, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Indian forces deployed along the Bangladesh border are up against a new type of smugglers – one who smuggles saris (Clothing worn by Indian women) from India to Bangladesh.

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New Delhi (Sputnik) — India is known for its range of saris, which is not only popular among South Asian women but also Russian women who are said to be fascinated by colorful Indian saris.

The craze for Indian saris in the neighboring Bangladesh has led to a thriving illegal sari trade along the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya.

The Border Security Force (BSF) has been facing smuggling of cattle, drugs and counterfeit currency along the porous India-Bangladesh border for decades but the recent spurt in sari smuggling has become a nightmare for the security forces.

According to reports, the BSF regularly seizes a large number of saris along the India-Bangladesh border. Recently after the demonetization drive, Indian forces tightened vigil along the India-Bangladesh border to check the smuggling of counterfeit currency.

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India shares a 4096-km border with Bangladesh, of which the state of West Bengal has 2216 km, Assam 263 km, Meghalaya 443 km, Tripura 856 km and Mizoram 318 km.

"The India-Bangladesh border is porous and smuggling of cattle and fake currency is rampant along the border. The smuggling of sari is not as threatening but the main problem is that when sari smugglers will start dumping drugs, fake currency and illegal arms in India, no one can predict. So there is an urgent need to stop all sorts of cross-border smuggling along the highly sensitive India-Bangladesh border," Prakash Singh, former Director General of Police, told Sputnik.

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