BSF unearths tunnel used by Pak to send in terrorists to India
The Border Security Force (BSF) on Saturday found a 150-metre-long underground tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir that had been used by Pakistani intelligence to infiltrate terrorists into India. It is the second tunnel to be discovered in 10 days by the force that last year went on a campaign mode to detect and destroy a web of tunnels believed to have been built by Pakistan’s deep state, a senior BSF official said on Saturday.
The 39-metre-deep tunnel was detected between Border Post number 14 and 15 near BSF’s outpost at Pansar, Kathua district. On the other side of the fence are Pakistani border outposts of Abhiyal Dogra and Kingre-de-Kothe in Shakargarh district.
Shakargarh, the area across the fence, is home to a terror training facility overseen by one of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s operational commanders, Kasim Jan, who, Indian intelligence believes, was involved in the November 19 Nagrota encounter in Jammu and is the principal accused in the 2016 Pathankot airbase attack. Jan is also one of the main launch commanders of the Jaish terrorists into India.
“This is huge,” said the senior BSF official cited above, who requested anonymity. Because the tunnel appears to be at least six to eight years old, it would have been used for infiltration for a long time. Also, it is located in a place that has seen action in the past, right from 2012 when Pakistan mounted an assault on the forward duty point and constructed a new bunker on the zero line in the vicinity.
Not far from where the tunnel was found, BSF assistant commandant Vinay Prasad, who was leading a border domination patrol, was killed by sniper fire from across the border in January 2019. A group of terrorists was noticed in the same area in November 2019.
It is very important to detect all the tunnels built by the Pakistani military and its terrorists because the infiltration of terrorists through them practically nullifies the utility of deployment of soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC). When it becomes too difficult to cross the LoC, Pakistani terrorists use these tunnels, a senior counterterror official said in Delhi.
Border Security Force director general Rakesh Asthana had ordered the force to step up efforts to detect tunnels after the Nagrota encounter in November when security forces were able to trace the route taken by the terrorists who had crossed over using one of the many tunnels the Pakistani military built for the terrorists to sneak into India.
Security officials underscore that proper engineering efforts had gone into the construction of the tunnels that have been detected in recent times, pointing to the involvement of the Pakistani military along the heavily guarded border.