IN A key breakthrough, the Border Security Force (BSF) and police have detected a cross-border tunnel in the Regal area of Jammu’s Samba district that was used by four Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists to enter J&K before they were gunned down by security forces in an encounter at Nagrota three days ago.
“The tunnel is 15-20 ft deep and nearly 150 m long…It originates from inside Pakistan…It was used by the four Jaish-e-Mohammad militants who were killed recently,” said J&K Police DGP Dilbagh Singh after visiting the site Sunday along with BSF IG (Jammu Frontiers) N S Jamwal and other senior officers.
“All the technical evidence available with us lead to this point only. It appears to be a fresh tunnel, but may have been used by militants earlier also,’’ DGP Singh said, adding that cement bags with Pakistani markings were found inside.
The militants, who entered Samba early Thursday and boarded a truck to Kashmir, were intercepted hours later and killed by security forces during a three-hour encounter.
DGP Singh said the tunnel showed signs of “proper engineering work”, with its opening on the Indian side reinforced with sand bags with Pakistani markings, and carefully concealed behind thick bushes and covered with soil.
On the other side of the tunnel’s location are three Pakistan border outposts, he said.
“Pakistan, which always tries to deny its role in terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, stands exposed. Right from the time the four slain Jaish-e-Mohammad militants infiltrated into J&K to their killing in an encounter at Ban Toll Plaza, all the available technical evidence strongly points towards Pakistan,’’ DGP Singh said.
“All the gadgets, medicines, telephones, wireless sets, eatables and even the clothes had Paskistani markings on them. Now, the cement bags used in the tunnel too have Pakistani markings. Cement bags with similar Pakistani markings were found in another tunnel that was detected in the Bengalad area of Samba sector sometime back,’’ he said.
The Indian Express reported Saturday that the terrorists had been in touch with their handlers in Pakistan over smartphones manufactured by Q Mobile, a Pakistani company, were carrying medicines manufactured in Karachi, and wore shoes made in Pakistan.
J&K Police investigations have revealed that the terrorists had been sent with the specific task of carrying out a large attack ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) polls to derail the election process.
Police have recovered 11 AK assault rifles, 24 magazines and 7.5 kg of RDX along with 20 m of IED wire and six detonators. Recoveries include one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL), 29 grenades, five rifle grenades, three pistols with six magazines, a wireless set and a GPS.
Such tunnels have been detected along the International Border in the Jammu region earlier, too, including as recently as early this month at the R S Pura sector.
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