29 Aug 2020: 20 meter tunnel detected along Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu
A trans-border tunnel has been detected underneath the Indo-Pakistan fence in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba region, Border Security Force (BSF) officials confirmed on Saturday.
The BSF has now launched a search operation to see if there are other hidden structures in the area.
The force has said that it suspects the Pakistan establishment's hand to infiltrate terrorists into Indian territory.
Tunnel: Tunnel is 20 meters long, 3-4 feet wide
According to PTI, officials said that the tunnel is under construction and about 20 feet long. The tunnel is about three-four feet wide.
It lies about 50 meters from the border fence on the Indian side in the Galar area of Samba.
Officials said the nearest Pakistani border post from the tunnel was the Gulzar post about 700 meters away.
Tunnel: Sandbangs with 'Pakistani markings' covered tunnel's mouth
Officials said the mouth of the tunnel was stuffed with around 10 green-colored sandbags that had markings of "Karachi and Shakargarh" factories on them.
They said the manufacturing and expiry dates mentioned on the sandbags indicated that they had been manufactured recently.
"The dates mentioned on the sandbags suggest that the tunnel has been freshly dug," Jammu BSF IG NS Jamwal told reporters.
Detection: Tunnel found after troops noticed sunken earth in places
The hidden structure was detected during a BSF patrol. A senior official said that patrolling troops became suspicious after noticing the earth sinking in some places in a farmer's field in the region amid incessant rains.
After an earth-moving machine was pressed into service, it was found that the tunnel is 170 meters from the International Border (IB) on the Indian side.
Action: BSF DG asks troops to ensure no gaps along border
BSF Director-General Rakesh Asthana has asked frontier commanders to ensure that the anti-infiltration grid is intact and that there are no gaps along the border.
The BSF's Jammu frontier said in a statement, "With this detection, alert BSF troops foiled the nefarious design of Pakistan to infiltrate terrorists into Indian territory. The tunnel's origin is in Pakistan territory close to IB."
Fact: BSF on alert amid reports of terrorists attempting to infiltrate
The BSF has been conducting an "anti-tunnel drive" in Jammu's IB areas. Five armed infiltrators had recently been killed along this border in Punjab. The BSF has been extra cautious since there have been multiple intelligence reports of terrorists trying to breach the IB.
Investigation: 'Pakistan is surely involved; has knowledge of tunnel'
BSF's Jammu frontier said that there have been "regular inputs about the presence of terrorists in Pak border villages desperately looking for infiltration into Indian territory but vigilant BSF troops foiled desperate attempts of anti-national elements to infiltrate and carry out terrorist actions in India."
The force said that the Pakistan establishment "surely has a hand and has knowledge of (the tunnel)."