Security forces on Saturday carried out a massive search operation along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir to detect cross-border tunnels and prevent any infiltration attempts by terrorists during the Amarnath Yatra, officials said.
The search operation was jointly carried out by Police, CRPF, and BSF in the forward villages in Samba, Kathua, and Jammu districts, the officials said.
The 43-day-long Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to start on June 30 from two routes — the traditional 48-km Nunwan in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam and a 14-km shorter route from Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal — after a two-year break forced by the COVID pandemic.
Various intelligence inputs suggest that terrorists are planning to infiltrate from across the border to disrupt the yatra, Deputy Superintendent of Police (operations), Samba, G R Bhardwaj said.
Bhardwaj, who was leading the joint search operation, said that about 8-km area from Suchetgarh border to Regal was combed by the joint forces with a focus on detecting any possible cross-border tunnel which might have been dug from across the border by terrorists to infiltrate.
He said the forces searched all unattended areas during the operation, which is part of the unprecedented security arrangements made for the upcoming yatra.
We are alert to the threat and have stepped up area domination patrols, search operations, and night vigils to thwart any attempt by terrorists to disrupt the yatra, Bhardwaj said, adding that additional checkpoints have also been set up to strengthen the border and highway grid.
Officials said the searches were also carried out in R S Pura sector in Jammu district and Hiranagar sector in Kathua district to keep an eye on any suspicious movement.