The BSF has launched a massive operation along International Border (IB) to uncover a tunnel through which armed infiltrators are suspected to have sneaked inside the Kathua district, a senior official said today. “An operation has been started to uncover the tunnel. It is going on,” BSF’s IG, Jammu Frontier, Ram Awtar, told PTI here. He said the BSF has inducted several JCB machines, a large number of troops and other types of manpower into the area and a search was going on. The terrain is like the riverine Chambal valley belt but we are at it, Awtar said. Yesterday, BSF DG KK Sharma had termed as “very serious”, Pakistan’s attempts to push infiltrators across including the latest instances which comes days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on May 19.
The BSF and Army troops have detected six cross border tunnels along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu region since 2012. These were used to infiltrate militants from the Pakistan side into Jammu and Kashmir. On September 30, 2017, troops of the 62nd battalion of the BSF detected an unfinished tunnel ahead of the border fence along IB in Arnia belt of Jammu district during a search operation. The tunnel was about 12 to 14 feet long with a height of 3 feet and two and a half feet wide. On February 14, 2017, the BSF detected a tunnel originating from the Pakistani side along the IB in Samba district. During an anti-tunnelling exercise, the BSF detected the approximately 20-metre tunnel ahead of the fence into Indian territory in Ramgarh sector.
On March 3, 2016, a 30-metre-long tunnel from Pakistan to the Indian side was detected by the BSF in the RS Pura sector of Jammu district. In May 2014, a caved-in portion of a tunnel in Chillyari border belt in Samba district was found. It was 23 metres inside the Indian territory, officials said. BSF had detected a 400-metre long cross-border tunnel along the International Border in July 2012 in Samba sector. Another tunnel was discovered in August 2014, which was approximately 130 to 150 metres in length along the Line of Control (LoC) and originated on the Pakistan side, near a forward post along Indo-Pak border in Jammu region’s sensitive Pallanwala sector.
Failure to detect the tunnel, through which five militants are suspected to have sneaked into Kathua district ahead of the PM’s visit has caused fear among residents of the border belt. Villagers of Bobiyan and Londi have been praying for early detection of the tunnel apprehending that Pakistan may push more militants through the route to trigger terror attacks in the region. “We pray for early detection of this tunnel. Our fears are increasing day by day due to the delays,” Bobiyan villager Dalbir Singh said.