We and some friends took a train ride up to Parbotipur to visit.

At Hilli, a station near the border of India, there was the normal smuggling scene, where the BRD and train officials tried to pretend to give the smugglers a struggle. The smuggled goods are cumin, biscuits, dried noodles, saris, cosmetics, etc. The smugglers get on the train and then sell their stuff in different cities. The military try to stop the smuggling, but it’s half hearted. We saw money exchanging hands. Sometimes officials ignored the smugglers, and sometimes they wacked them across the face. Sometimes they confiscated goods. Sometimes they stopped the train and checked it thoroughly, only to allow the train to pick up smugglers a few kilometers from the station. I guess there is a good reason why harmless items like this should not be allowed to cross borders freely?