The BSF on Wednesday detected a 150-meter tunnel to facilitate terrorist infiltration into J&K from Pakistan in the Kathua district. This is the second occurrence where the Indian security forces found a tunnel since November Last.
According to the Border Security Force, the underground tunnel is similar to the one found in November. The 150-meter tunnel found on Wednesday is professionally-engineered to push terrorists that are trained in terror camps authorized by the Pakistan army.
The entry point of the tunnel was found 300 feet away from the zero line and just 60 feet from the Indian side’s fence. The tunnel is three-feet wide according to the Border Security Force officer and constructed at a depth of 25-30 feet.
Speaking to news reporters, the BSF officer assured that all measures are taken care of to counter the Pakistani designs. The BSF officer said, “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.”
When inquired about the age of the tunnel and whether it was recently dug or not, the BSF officer said it is yet to be investigated. However, some of the sandbags that are recovered from the tunnel have 2016 as the year of manufacturing suggesting the tunnel to be a fairly old one.
Unlike the tunnel which was accidentally discovered in November 2020, the BSF personnel didn’t stumble upon this tunnel. The BSF officer said, “We were searching for this tunnel for a long time and its detection was the effort of the anti-tunneling 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.”
The BSF officer also added, “Given the sophistication of the last tunnel that had been found, we had figured that the Pakistan army had started building cross-border terrorists to create a new infiltration route and had constituted special teams to look for them.”
The Counter-terror officials said the tunnel also provides clarity on the instances where Pakistani Rangers violated the ceasefire. Along the border in Jammu and Kashmir which separates India and Pakistan, there was a sharp increase in ceasefire violations in 2020. According to the Jammu and Kashmir police, there were 930 ceasefire violation instances in the year 2020. This is an alarming 54% increase over the 605 instances in 2019. According to the statistics compiled by the Jammu and Kashmir police, there was also a 22% increase in terrorist recruitment.
Speaking about the recently found tunnel, a counter-terror official said, “It has been an old tactic of Pakistani security forces to open fire at border guards on the Indian side to distract them. Usually, it was to help terrorists infiltrate into India. Now, it is also being used to draw the attention of security forces from spots where they are building tunnels.”
Earlier in November 2020, the BSF officers discovered a 200-meter long and 8-meter-deep underground tunnel on the international borders. The security officials reported the tunnel to be located 160 meter long from the International border and 40 meter long along the Pakistani side.
According to security officials, the tunnel was used for the first time by the Jaish suicide attackers and had been dug newly. Because of the tunnel’s mouth being carefully covered and meticulously concealed the underground tunnel was difficult to locate. The security officials stated that fertilizer sandbags were used to reinforce the infiltration route for the 4 Jaish attackers.