Assam Rifles have seized foreign origin cigarettes worth Rs 6.53 crore and a large cache of firearms from two Mizoram districts adjoining the Myanmar and Bangladesh borders, officials said on Friday.Sources said that 502 boxes of foreign origin cigarettes valued at Rs 6.53 crore were seized at Ruantlang and Kelkang-Khaungleng Road in Champhai district adjoining Myanmar in eastern Mizoram on Thursday. Three people were arrested.The operation was jointly carried out by Assam Rifles and the Customs Preventive Force.In another raid, the Central para military troopers along with Mizoram police on Thursday recovered three pistols, 174 live rounds, three kg explosives, nine detonators and other such stores including Improvised Explosive Devices from a jungle at Hmawngbu village in Lawngtlai district adjoining Myanmar and Bangladesh borders.
Assam Rifles, in a statement, said that these recoveries are "huge setbacks for inimical elements", who procured these arms and ammunition to undertake violent activities."Ongoing smuggling of drugs is a major cause of concern for the state of Mizoram, especially along the India-Myanmar border."Assam Rifles, as the 'Sentinels of Northeast' have continued their efforts against the smuggling activities in Mizoram and other northeastern states," the statement noted.Assam Rifles Director General Lt Gen Pradeep Chandran Nair, while speaking at a virtual discussion, organised by industry body FICCI, earlier this week, had said that the force has seized smuggled goods worth over Rs 1,603 crore since last year in Mizoram and Manipur."The Assam Rifles troopers alone had seized smuggled goods valued at Rs 857 crore last year, while contraband worth Rs 746 crore has been seized so far this year," Lt Gen Nair said.