Published July 29, 2012 | 3:11 pm
Sunday, July 29, 2012 – 10:11Saanj News
nd weapons into Kashmir.
The tunnel, still under construction, was discovered by a farmer Saturday near a border post on the international border in Samba district south of Jammu.
One official told IANS that the tunnel's aim was to “push in militants, arms and ammunition from Pakistan”.
With India's Independence Day only 18 days away, some fear that the tunnel may have been prepared to infiltrate militants on or ahead of Aug 15.
The tunnel, about 55 km southwest of Jammu, is 3 feet by 3 feet in diameter and has pipes for supplying oxygen, according to Senior Superintendent of Police (Samba) Israr Khan.
It appears the tunnel is 400-500 metres long, he said.
The tunnel runs below the border fence, erected on Indian territory to prevent infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan. “Our fair assessment is that this tunnel is under construction.”
The Pakistani post Lambryal is about 500 metres opposite India's Chinari post. “There is thick vegetation in the area. We can't know the activities going on that side.”
Officials do not rule out the possibility of more such tunnels either already constructed or under construction from Pakistan to India.
Residents of Chhichwal village say the Border Security Force (BSF) and the army are not taking the issue seriously.
Said Fateh Singh, an elderly man: “It is over 36 hours since the tunnel was discovered. But no one from the army has come to find out the facts.
“It is only the senior superintendent of police who is camping here. The BSF came with a machine to dig the place but that machine ran out of fuel.
Ravi Choudhary, a farmer who saw the sinking area leading to the tunnel's discovery, said: “By not acting fast we are giving time to Pakistan to cover up things.”
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has called for geological experts and the remote sensing department to study the tunnel. “But no one has reached so far,” said Parveen Katwal, another villager.
Because of strong security measures on the Indian side, Pakistan has been finding it difficult to push militants into Jammu and Kashmir.
“That is the reason Pakistan has embarked on constructing such an underground tunnel to push arms, ammunition and militants into Jammu and Kashmir,” one official said.
Hundreds of Kashmiri youths who went over to Pakistan for arms training and now desperate to return to the state by surrendering to security forces and making use of government rehabilitation policies.
Pakistan wants to push in more militants into Jammu and Kashmir as there are very few left in the state, another official said.