SRINAGAR: Three days after four terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad were neutralised in Nagrota, the BSF on Sunday detected an underground tunnel along the International Border (IB) in Samba district.
It is being suspected that the four militants had sneaked into this side of the border through this tunnel. The BSF men have been conducting extensive anti-tunnel operations since Thursday.
IG BSF Jammu N S Jamwal said the tunnel is 150 metre inside the Indian territory. “It is a freshly dug one which has been used for the first time,” Jamwal said, adding that the tunnel is about 5 ft x 5 ft in diameter.
Asked whether the four Pakistani terrorists who were killed on November 19 entered from this sector, he said it is likely that the group had crossed over using this tunnel.
“We feel there is a guide involved, who might have dropped them at the highway,” the IG said.
Sources said the opening of the tunnel was found near Regal area of Samba sector where there is thick undergrowth and bushes.
After the detection of the tunnel, top security officers including Jamwal, DGP Dilbag Singh and Inspector General, Jammu range, Mukesh Singh inspected the scene reached the area to take stock of the situation.
This was the second tunnel detected by the BSF along the IB in Samba in the last three months.
In August, the border guarding force found a tunnel near the border fencing in the Galar area.
The BSF carried out the massive anti-tunnelling operation after it came to light that the four JeM terrorists had infiltrated through the Samba sector before being eliminated in Nagrota.
"This was a new tunnel dug out from Pakistan after the older one was unearthed by BSF (in Samba). After the successful operation in Nagrota, the question was how did the JeM group managed to infiltrate into this side from Pakistan, reached the national highway and boarded the Kashmir bound truck," the DGP said.
"Today, the sandbags recovered from the tunnel were manufactured in Karachi. It shows that from training to launching of terrorists into J&K, everything has the Pakistan (government's) stamp," Singh said.
"Anyone with ill intensions coming on the Indian soil will meet the same fate (like JeM terrorists)," Singh said, adding Pakistan already stands exposed in the world for its support to terrorism and the infiltration by the terrorists has once again blown the lid off the country's ill intentions.
Security forces had recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition including 11 AK assault rifles, 29 grenades, 6 UBGL, explosives, medicines and satellite and mobile phones from the encounter site at Nagrota.
It was the biggest arms and ammunition confiscation in a single incident in J&K in last few years.
The killing of the four Jaish militants is being considered as a major achievement for security forces especially as J&K will see the first ever District Development Council polls from November 28 to December 19.
Security officials said the militants were heavily armed and were planning a big attack, possibly a fidayeen attack, in Kashmir.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken a review meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, NSA Ajit Doval, foreign secretary, and top intelligence officials to take stock of the situation.
The DGP said police have already shared the evidence of the involvement of Pakistan which is not only pushing Lashkar-e-Taiba and JeM terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir but also supporting Hizbul Mujahideen and Al-Badr terrorists and smuggling weapons into India.
He said the infiltration of the JeM terrorists was done to disrupt the democratic process as DDC polls are scheduled to be held in eight phases beginning November 28.
"The four terrorists coming with 14 weapons means that they have sleeper cells and want to hand over the weapons to them. They were carrying RDX which shows they were planning to carry out multiple IED explosions at different places to target forces and the people," he said.
(With PTI Inputs)(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)