A 150m cross-border tunnel constructed along the International Border (IB) to facilitate infiltration of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan was detected by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district on Wednesday.
This is the third tunnel that the security personnel unearthed along the IB in the twin districts of Samba and Kathua in Jammu region over the past six months and ninth in the past decade, officials said.
“A nearly 150m-long tunnel was detected by a BSF patrol party during an anti-tunnelling operation in Bobiyaan village of Hirnagar sector this morning,” Inspector General of BSF, Jammu frontier, NS Jamwal told reporters at the scene. He along with other senior officers rushed to Bobiyaan soon after the detection of the tunnel.
Launch pads and bases of terrorists
“The opposite of this side is Pakistan’s Shakergarh which is notorious for having launch pads and bases of terrorists. We have inputs available with us. As a result of that we are sensitive to whatever is happening here,” the BSF officer said. He also assured that all necessary measures are in place to counter Pakistani designs.
Jamwal said sand bags with Pakistani markings are evidence of the hand of Pakistan in the construction of this tunnel. It is also identical to the previously detected tunnels having a depth of 25 to 30 metre with two to three feet diameter.
Asked whether this cross-border tunnel was recently dug or it’s an old one, the BSF officer said it is a matter of investigation. However, he said some of the sand bags recovered from the tunnel have 2016-17 year of manufacture. This suggests that it is an old cross-border tunnel.
He said, “We were searching for this tunnel for a long time and its detection was the effort of the anti-tunnelling operation which is underway all along the IB. Whether any infiltration had taken place through this tunnel in the past can be said after completion of our investigation.”
Jamwal, however, said the BSF is sure that no infiltration had taken place through this tunnel in the recent past. “We are undertaking some development works here and have strengthened the security in view of the anti-tunnelling drive, he said. Referring to the killing of two Pakistani infiltrators in Surankote area of Poonch district and an encounter in Srinagar last month, the IG said Pakistan is always looking for an opportunity to push terrorists into Jammu Kashmir, whether it is through Line of Control (LoC) or IB.