India takes up tunnel issue with Pak, writes strong worded letter

March 11:Deciding not to let Pakistan go unescaped from its responsibility and involvement in facilitating digging of tunnel along the International Border (IB) in RS Pura sector that was detected last Thursday, the Government of India has shot off a strong worded letter to Pakistan asking it to join the joint investigations with the BSF to punish the elements responsible for digging it as this would have resulted into major terror attack(s) against India.
Top official sources told  that the issue has been taken up by the Centre Government with appropriate channels in Pakistan after the BSF Headquarters submitted a detailed report highlighting direct involvement of Pakistan in facilitating digging of the tunnel from their side into the Indian territory.
“The BSF Headquarters has also written to the Director General (DG) Rangers to join joint investigations with the BSF on digging of tunnel inside the Indian territory along the IB near Alla Mai De Kothe (AMK) Post in RS Pura sector. The BSF has given all evidence available with it including pictures of the tunnel to prove its point,” sources said.
Noting that the intervention of the Centre Government and BSF Headquarters was necessitated after the Rangers didn’t respond to the demand for joint probe raised by the Jammu based BSF officials with their counterparts at Sialkote, Pakistan, sources said the BSF has enough evidence at its command to prove that the tunnel had originated about 200 meters from Pakistan side, which was not possible without the help of Rangers as their Afzal Post was located within 250 to 300 meters from the IB.
Sources disclosed that the Government of India and the BSF Headquarters have cited the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that existed between BSF and Rangers under which the anti-tunneling verifications can be taken up by both sides jointly as the tunnel was detected on either side of the IB and action taken against the culprits after their identification.
“The onus now lies on Pakistan. It was up to them to respond to the Indian Government and BSF communications and give dates for visit of the Rangers to join investigations into detection of the tunnel in RS Pura sector,” sources said.
Asserting that the Indian Government wants to corner Pakistan in detection of the tunnel, which was a very serious matter as it would have caused more deadly attacks than Pakistan, sources said the Centre and the BSF want to corner Pakistan just like Pakistan terror attack in which the neighbouring country was not only forced to lodge First Information Report (FIR) but also formed a Joint Investigating Team (JIT), which has arrested some suspects of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
Sources said India has not only insisted on joint investigations into the tunnel but also wanted Pakistan to act against the elements responsible for digging the tunnel right under the noose of the Rangers as it was sure that without the support of the Rangers, the tunnel wouldn’t have been dug about 200 meters inside Pakistan territory and then linked to India, where its length was estimated around 30 meters.
Further, they added, the tunnel had been dug with sophisticated equipments and was meant for permanent use and not one time, which was not possible without connivance of the Rangers as it required lot of time.
Meanwhile, when contacted, IG BSF, Jammu Frontiers, Rakesh Sharma told  that the matter was being pursued seriously at both the levels-New Delhi and Jammu.
“We want Pakistan to join the joint probe and take action against the culprits as per the SOP,” Sharma said, adding this thing has been conveyed to the Rangers very strongly telephonically as well as in writing with evidence including pictures of the tunnel.
In addition, Sharma said, he has directed all battalion commanders of the BSF deployed on the IB to use entire men and machinery at their command, to detect that there were no more tunnels on the borders and, if there were any, they were detected.

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