Throwing security machinery into a tizzy, militants, taking advantage of dense fog, cut the barbed-wire fence along the India-Pakistan border for the first time in a bid to carry out infiltration.
The incident has prompted the authorities to sound a high alert to thwart any infiltration attempt, a senior Border Security Force officer said on Saturday.
"During the checking of the fencing, we have detected that the fence has been cut by militants between pillar number 851 and 852 along the International Border in Abdullian Border Out Post area of Ranbir Singh border belt of Jammu district on Friday evening," he said.
Under the cover of thick fog, the militants had cut nine wires on the Pakistani side and ten wires on the Indian side, thereby creating a gap to facilitate infiltration, he said.
During checking, it was found that the fence has been cut and immediately BSF, Central Reserve Police Force, police and the Army were alerted and massive searches conducted in the entire border belt and adjoining areas, 35 kms from Jammu.
This is the first time that the fence has been cut and a gap created for infiltration of militants, the officer said.
"However, we feel there are less chances of militants sneaking into this side as there is another fence 500 meters behind the zero line which is intact," he said.
Search operations were going on in the entire border belt of R S Pura, he said, adding, "No footprints of infiltrators have been seen."
Fearing that militants might try to disrupt the Republic Day functions by triggering blasts or carrying out suicide attacks, troops have been put on maximum alert along the border in Jammu, Kathua and Samba sectors.
"The troops have been asked to check the fence every three to four hours, set up ambushes at vulnerable places, use electronic surveillance and manual patrolling around the clock," the BSF officer said. The state police has also sounded a high alert in Jammu region.
"Security has been put on high alert in the entire city," Inspector General of Police, Jammu, Ashok Gupta said, adding that a three-tier security system has been beefed up in and around the M A M Stadium, the main venue of the Republic Day function.
As part of the stepped up security measures, searches are being conducted at various places, particularly hotels and lodges, vehicles are being checked thoroughly and people are being frisked at the city's entry and exit points. There have been 13 infiltration bids and four ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pak border in January. There were 433 infiltration attempts in 2009 -- 91 more than in 2008.