BSF steps-up digging beyond fencing

BSF steps-up digging beyond fencing

26 August 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Two days after Union Home Secretary RK Singh paid an extensive visit to the International Border (IB) in Jammu sector, the Border Security Force (BSF) has stepped-up digging work beyond fencing in the Indian territory at forward village of Chechwal in Samba sector to detect starting point of underground tunnel on this side. Official sources told the Excelsior that the BSF now wanted to go up to starting point of the tunnel on Indian side on the IB, which would help in finding out the area across the border from where the tunnel had originated. As reported, the BSF had started the digging work yesterday. 'Today, the work was intensified. The JCBs have been deployed across the fencing and the BSF jawans were engaged in digging of the land straight to the tunnel detected earlier at Chechwal in Samba sector’’, sources said, adding the BSF planned to dig the land and find out the tunnel beyond fencing right up to the IB. This, they said, would help in confirming that the tunnel had been dug from across the IB i.e. the Pakistan side, which would further confirm involvement of Rangers and other Pakistan authorities in digging of underground tunnel from their side into Indian territory to push militants and smuggle narcotics. Sources said the digging work was expected to take some time as it has to be executed very slowly and taking all precautions as the frustrated Rangers could resort to firing anytime or try to plant the explosive material. Before and after the work, sniffer dogs were being pressed into service to sniff out any explosive device planted by the Rangers or their agents. The BSF and GSI (Geological Survey of India) authorities have already found 540 meters tunnel inside the Indian territory from the fencing leading towards village Chechwal. The GSI’s seismic experts had also found exit point of the tunnel close to village Chechwal. The tunnel was 3 feet x 3 feet deep about 25 feet under the earth and had been equipped with pipes of fresh air and oxygen. According to sources, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved a survey all along the IB, both manually (through GSI) as well as through satellite (Indian Space Research Organisation), to find out whether some more tunnels had been dug by the Pakistani authorities on the IB. At present, the MHA, the BSF and other agencies were keeping their fingers crossed on the possibility of more tunnels on the IB. The BSF was also engaged in spotting signs of tunnels on the IB though it was not possible to manually find out the underground tunnels from the earth. It may be mentioned here that a civilian detected the tunnel at Chechwal on the evening of July 27 when he spotted the land caving in at three straight points in his field at Chechwal in Samba sector. The BSF swung into action next day and finally 540 meters tunnel inside the Indian territory was found. The BSF had handed over a strong evidence of the tunnel dug by Pakistan authorities along with pictures to the Rangers in a flag meeting held at Octroi Post in Suchetgarh few days after the tunnel was detected.