Cross-border tunnel not possible without Pakistan’s help: Official

  • Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 07, 2016 00:26 IST
BSF jawans guard at the RS Pura sector where a 30-metre-long tunnel from Pakistan to Jammu was detected by the security forces. (PTI Photo)

A cross-border tunnel discovered by Indian forces in Jammu could not have been constructed without help from Pakistan’s state machinery, sources said on Sunday, days after security officials said the secret passageway was dug for a terror attack.

The BSF, which guards the India-Pakistan border, has asked for a joint inspection and investigation of the tunnel — 100 feet long and 10 feet deep — with the Pakistan Rangers. “The sophisticatedly built tunnel with the support of many wooden planks and bamboo culms was not possible without the involvement of some well-organised state machinery in Pakistan,” said a senior security official requesting anonymity.

The tunnel detected on Thursday is the fourth such discovery along the India-Pakistan border and Line of Control in Jammu since 2012. Sources said it was carefully built over three to four months.

Read | BSF chief to review security after discovery of tunnel from Pakistan

“It (the tunnel) started just 100 metres away from the Pakistan Ranger’s ‘Shaheed Afzal’ post. How can anyone dig a tunnel so close to the post without the involvement of the state machinery? The tunnel was found closed on the Indian side but it could have been opened at any time,” said the official.

According to BSF officials, a high-ranking Pakistan Rangers representative came to inspect the tunnel unannounced after India lodged a protest. The officer was shown the tunnel by local BSF commanders.

“During the previous BSF-Pakistan Rangers talks in Delhi, a mechanism of joint inspection and investigation was devised. We want Pakistan to adhere to it,” said BSF chief KK Sharma who inspected the tunnel two days ago.

Sources said the security force is using ground-penetrating radar to detect such tunnels. The system is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and is in trial stages.

“Such radars are used in the mining sector and the BSF wants something compact. Besides, the radar can detect digging, but it is difficult to spot tunnels that have already been dug,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.

Read | Tunnel from Pak meant to push militants into J&K: BSF

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