Hungarian police find 2 tunnels used by migrants on border

Hungarian Police measuring sticks are placed near the entrance to a tunnel in the village of Asotthalom, southern Hungary. (AP)
Updated 29 November 2019

Hungarian police find 2 tunnels used by migrants on border

  • Security officials were using drones and scanners to search for any more tunnels
  • The number of migrants found near the border in Hungary and expelled back to Serbia through gates in the fences is increasing

BUDAPEST: Hungarian police said Friday that they discovered two tunnels used by migrants to enter the country from Serbia.
Police said that a tunnel 34 meters (37 yards) long was discovered near the southern village of Asotthalom, where they also detained 44 migrants who had used the precarious passageway.
Police Col. Jeno Szilassi-Horvath said a Serbian citizen suspected of human trafficking had been detained along with the migrants.
The tunnel near Asotthalom was about 50 centimeters (20 inches) wide, 60 centimeters (2 feet) high, and had been dug as deep as about 6 meters (20 feet) below the surface without any support beams or other elements to prevent its collapse.
Szilassi-Horvath said the dig, which likely lasted a few weeks and was done without any machines, had gone undetected thanks to the thick underbrush in the area and because the soil dug out was dumped in a nearby canal.
He added that security officials were using drones and scanners to search for any more tunnels.
The other tunnel, in the village of Csikeria, was 21.7 meters (71 feet) long, but no successful migrant crossings took place there. Police said they discovered both tunnels not long after their construction was completed, and filled both of them up again.
In 2015, at the height of the migration crisis, Hungary built razor-wire fences on its southern borders to stem or divert the flow of people, many from the Middle East and Asia, making their way to Western Europe.
In recent weeks, the number of migrants found near the border in Hungary and expelled back to Serbia through gates in the fences has been on the rise, from usually far less than 200 a week earlier this year to 375, 492 and 642 in the past three weeks.
Asylum-seekers may file their claims at two transit zones along the border, but recent legal changes allow authorities to reject the vast majority of the claims of those arriving from Serbia.


Curtains close on Jaipur Literature Festival

Updated 28 January 2020

Curtains close on Jaipur Literature Festival

  • This year’s themes were current trends in politics, wider society, the economy, art, and literature

NEW DELHI: The 13th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) came to a close on Monday after registering a footfall of more than 400,000 visitors during the five-day event, which saw the participation of more than 500 speakers from 30 countries.

What started as a small event in the western Indian city of Jaipur in 2007 has gone on to become one of the most prestigious literary festivals in the world, so much so that the Diggi Palace, an expansive medieval structure which was used as the venue for the JLF every year, became overcrowded this year, forcing organizers to look for a new venue for 2021.

This year’s themes were current trends in politics, wider society, the economy, art, and literature.

With India witnessing continuous protests against new citizenship legislation introduced by the government, most of the political discussions revolved around the issue, with many drawing attention to the danger it posed to the constitution and the secular fabric of the country.

Changes taking place in the Arab world were also part of this year’s discourse with four Arab authors speaking at the JLF.