Kutch: Access to 21 uninhabited islands in Kutch has been banned in order to curb incidents of drug smuggling and infiltration from the Pakistan side. A notification in this regard has been issued by Kutch Collector Amit Arora.
Kutch is considered to be a very sensitive district in view of its international border. The uninhabited islands in the maritime area bordering Kutch record frequent cases of drug smuggling and infiltration. Also, criminals often tend to take refuge in these deserted islands.
There are a total of 21 uninhabited islands in Western Kutch-Bhuj and Eastern Kutch-Gandhidham. Some of these uninhabited islands contain religious sites that are frequented by devotees for darshan. These islands run the risk of witnessing illegal and anti-social activities as well as becoming sites for storage of weapons and narcotics.
The BSF and Marine Police have found narcotics on Shekharan Peer, Ogtra, Lunabet and Khadrai Islands. Sometimes Pakistani fishing boats are spotted around these islands.
In order to ensure national security in these sensitive areas, Kutch Collector has issued a notification banning entry into the 21 islands of Kutch district under Section 144 of CrPC. The notification has offered an exemption to the state and central government security agencies and government employees. It has stated that if a citizen is found violating the notification, then police can register a crime against him under Section 188.
The 21 islands banned by the collector include Shekharan Pir, Ogtra, Lunabet, Khadrai Pir, Syed Suleman Pir, Chabhadev, Loon, Godrai, Motapir, Hemtal (Hanital), Haji Ibrahim, Khanana, Gopi, Satori, Bhakal, Savla Pir. Chini, Pir includes Sanai, Boya, Sethwara and Sat Saida. Among these islands, 19 are within 12 nautical miles of the maritime police and 2 are outside the island.
The decision to impose restriction on the uninhabited islands was taken at a meeting by the BSF, marine and state police for coastal security.