Shillong: A trans-border tunnel along the India-Bangladesh border was detected in Meghalaya's militancy-prone South West Garo Hills district on Wednesday, the BSF said.
The tunnel, at a depth of 20 to 25 feet with a dead end, was discovered at Gujangpara area of the district, which is a militancy-prone region, said Border Security Force (BSF) officials, adding that the area has become very sensitive due to increase of cattle smuggling to Bangladesh in the recent past.
"We cannot rule out anything... whether the tunnel was dug up for crisscrossing of militants across the international border or is it meant for smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh," Inspector General, BSF in-charge Meghalaya frontier P.K.Dubey told IANS.
However, he said that a team of BSF officials will be visiting the tunnel site on Thursday for further inspection.
"After analysing the terrain, it appears the miscreants needed to dig further 200 more metre to reach another end of the India-Bangladesh border fence," he said.
"As the area is densely vegetated with bamboo growth and terrain is undulating, the visibility is not very clear ahead of the fence."
Dubey said the bordering areas flanking both the West Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills districts has become very sensitive due to increase of cattle smuggling recently.
"There has been huge seizures of cattle by the BSF troopers in this particular area," he said, adding that the border guards has plugged all the gaps and pipes/culverts which were being utilised by the cattle smugglers by placing iron grills and wire meshes," he said.
Dubey said the BSF has also increased the intensity of the patrolling in the border areas to prevent trans-border crimes.
Meanwhile, he praised Constables Amit Kutre and Puneet Kumar for discovering the tunnel.
Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and thus prone to infiltration.