JAMMU, Feb 14: In what could have been a major terror attack after infiltration from Pakistan, the BSF today pre-empted the strike by detecting a tunnel originating from Pakistan and opening up just about 20 meters ahead of border fencing inside the Indian territory in Ramgarh sector of Samba district while three Pakistan army troopers were eliminated across Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district.
Army and police averted two major terror attacks by timely detecting and defusing an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), planted by the militants near Bhimber Gali on Jammu-Poonch road and recovering huge quantity of weaponry in Mendhar sector of Poonch district.
This was the second tunnel detected by the BSF along the International Border during past about two and a half months and fifth during past four and a half years, all of which had origin in Pakistan and exit on the Indian side. The tunnels had been dug beneath the border fencing to facilitate infiltration by the militants.
“The tunnel was under construction when the BSF detected it during major anti-tunneling measures taken along the International Border following very specific inputs that the militants were being trained for infiltration at Rattu training camp in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK),” official sources told the Excelsior.
The BSF jawans spotted the tunnel in Ramgarh sector and immediately sounded an alert as there were apprehensions of infiltration of the militants from it. However, the intrusion bid and a possible terror attack was thwarted with detection of the tunnel, which, according to sources, had its origin in Pakistan and exit had to be inside the Indian side after negotiating border fencing. It was just 20 meters ahead of the fencing. It had to negotiate the border fencing which would have quite easily facilitated the infiltration by the militants.
The tunnel was 2.5 feet x 2.5 feet in size and width.
“The tunnel was yet to be completed and was detected well in advance before it could reach the fence,” sources said.
“The efforts of the BSF troops deployed in multi-tiered counter infiltration grid once again resulted in neutralizing designs of terrorists working in connivance with Pakistan Rangers,” they added.
The BSF, sources said, will seek a flag meeting with their counterparts (the Pakistani Rangers) and inform them about the detection of the tunnel, built ahead of the IB fencing. The BSF will present pictorial and video evidence to the Rangers about the tunnel originating from Pakistan.
Sources said it couldn’t have been possible to dig the tunnel without active connivance of the Pakistan Rangers as the construction work had been carried out close to the forward posts of the Rangers opposite Ramgarh sector of Samba district.
On November 30, 2016, BSF had detected a tunnel having origin in Pakistan and exit on Indian side after successfully negotiating the border fencing in same Ramgarh sector of Samba district. Three militants, who had infiltrated from the tunnel, were gunned down by the BSF.
The BSF had detected a tunnel at Alla Mai De Kothe in RS Pura sector on March 3, 2016, which was about 300 meters in length while first such tunnel that was about 400 meters inside the Indian territory was spotted on July 27, 2012 in Chilyari area, falling between Samba and Hiranagar sectors. Army had also detected a 50meters long tunnel at Chakla along Munawar Tawi in Pallanwalla sector on August 22, 2014. All these tunnels had been dug from Pakistan and exit on the Indian side with motives being same-to facilitate infiltration of the militants.
Meanwhile, BSF said that terrorists are being staged in Pakistani villages along the International Border here as they are desperately looking to infiltrate into Indian territory to launch attacks.
“There are inputs about the presence of terrorists in Pakistani border villages desperately looking for infiltration into Indian territory,” said DIG BSF Dharmendra Pareek.
He further said that BSF troops are extremely vigilant and prepared to foil any such emerging threat and nefarious designs from across the border.
In view of the security scenario in recent months along the IB in Jammu region, BSF has taken various innovative measures to ensure foolproof security after the assessment of various threats from the Pakistani side, he said.
Meanwhile, three Pakistan army personnel were killed in heavy exchange of firing between Indo-Pak troops in Thoob area of Bhimber sector opposite Sunderbani in Rajouri district along the Line of Control (LoC).
Pakistan army has confirmed the killing of their three personnel.
A tweet by Pakistan army’s senior official Major General Asif Gafoor identified three slain army personnel as Naik Ghulam Rasool, Naik Imran Zafar and Sepoy Imam Bakshi. He said three other Pakistan army personnel were injured in retaliatory firing and shelling by the Indian side.
Pakistan army had yesterday opened heavy shelling and firing in Sunderbani sector at 6.05 pm which continued for about two hours. Three Pakistan army troopers were killed in retaliatory firing by the Indian side while three others were injured.
Meanwhile, Army and police today detected a powerful IED planted by the militants at Tota Gali near Bhimber Gali on Jammu-Poonch road with a view to target security forces or civilian vehicles. However, patrol parties of the security personnel timely detected the IED this morning and suspended vehicular movement on the road.
A Bomb Disposal Squad was rushed to the spot, which defused the IED. The area was sanitized and it was thrown open for vehicular movement after two hour long blockade, sources said, adding that a major tragedy has been averted with timely detection of the IED.
In another success against the militants, a joint team of Army and police busted a hideout of the militants in Chajla forest area of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district and recovered large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives.
Recoveries included one Pika Machine Gun with 90 belted rounds, one AK-74 rifle, one AK-47 rifle, two UBGL launchers, 22 UBGL grenades, two Chinese grenades, one I Com radio set and antenna and 500 rounds of AK-47.
Sources said a major terror plot has been foiled with recovery of arms, ammunition and explosives. They added that security forces also undertook search operations in Chajla forest area but the militants remained untraced.