NEARLY TWO months after the terror attack on the IAF air base in Pathankot, the BSF on Thursday said it has foiled a major terror attack ahead of the Amarnath pilgrimage after it detected a cross border tunnel near the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir’s R S Pura sector.
BSF Inspector General (IN) for Jammu Frontier R K Sharma said the tunnel, which was 3×4 ft in diameter, had been dug nearly 10 ft below the ground near a BSF post called Allah Mai De Kothey. He said the source of the tunnel was on the Pakistan side.
“The tunnel was not complete as its other end had not been opened into the Indian territory. This was meant for infiltration by terrorists and transportation of arms and ammunition from Pakistan side,” he said, adding that the tunnel had been dug nearly 30 meters inside the Indian territory falling a little short of the barbed wire fencing.
The BSF first detected the tunnel as part of its “anti-tunneling measures” in the area. The BSF had pressed into service earth moving machines in the area and had noticed a “fox cavity” around 10 am.
The anti-tunneling measures had been initiated since Monday last, as the BSF had received inputs about terrorist movement on the Pakistani side of the border.
The BSF IN said on digging the spot, they found a tunnel. “We immediately called a flag meeting with the (Pakistan) Rangers and took up the matter with them,” he said, adding that they (the Rangers) initially tried to pretend that this has been a “disputed area”.
“However, we took a stand and decided to clear wild growth from the entire area right up to the zero line,” he said. “This yielded good results and the entire tunnel on the Indian side got detected,” the IG added. This is the fourth tunnel detected along the IB in Jammu and Samba districts of the state since 2012.
Two tunnels were detected in Akhnoor sector in 2012 and 2014 and one in Samba in 2013. Army and police installations along the Jammu-Pathakot national highway have been the main target of terrorists in Samba and Kathua districts for some years now.
During the terror attack at the Pathankot air base in January this year, more than six security personnel were killed in an attack by six terrorists, who were later killed by NSG commandoes.