Ahead Of PM Modi’s Visit To J&K, Security Forces Conduct Search For Possible Cross-Border Tunnels

SAMBA/JAMMU, Feb 17: The Border Security Force (BSF) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police conducted a joint search on Saturday for any possible cross-border tunnel along the International Border in Samba district, amid heightened security in the Union territory ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit next week, officials said.
In the past decades, about a dozen cross-border tunnels which were used to push terrorists, weapons and narcotics from across the border were uncovered by the security forces along the International Border with Pakistan in Samba, Kathua and Jammu districts.
Police had recently announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh to anyone who helps in locating such tunnels used by “anti-national elements”.
Modi is visiting Jammu on February 20 to inaugurate and lay the foundation of 209 projects worth Rs 3,161 crore. He will also address a public meeting at the Maulana Azad Stadium in the heart of Jammu.
As part of the heightened security arrangements in view of Modi’s visit, the officials said, the BSF and the police conducted a joint two-hour-long anti-tunnelling operation in the Ramgarh sector of Samba district.
The operation started around 9.45 am and search teams did not find anything suspicious on the ground, they said.
The officials said BSF troops guarding the IB and police personnel manning the border posts have been put on maximum alert, especially after the recent ceasefire violation by Pakistan Rangers, and have been asked to maintain a tight vigil on any suspicious movement from across the border.
Besides the border areas along the IB, security arrangements have been beefed up along the Line of Control (LoC) and the hinterland to thwart any attempt by terrorists to carry out an attack, the officials said, adding security forces have intensified patrolling, area domination and checking in sensitive areas to maintain peace.
On Wednesday evening, Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire by firing on a BSF post at Makwal along the IB in R S Pura sector, prompting retaliation by the Indian border guards.
The cross-border firing continued for 25 minutes and later the BSF lodged a strong protest with their counterparts for the unprovoked firing.
Army troops guarding the LoC also fired at Pakistani drones on three occasions in different sectors of Poonch district in the past six days.