January 23rd, 2017
Pakistan releases Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan who had accidentally crossed LOC last year.
An Indian Army Soldier who had inadvertently crossed the line of control (LOC) on September 29 last year was handed over to India by Pakistan Army at the Wagah Border yesterday. Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan was released on “humanitarian grounds”.
The 22-year-old soldier from Maharashtra was in Pakistan’s captivity after India had announced surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The sepoy of the Rashtriya Rifles did not take part in the surgical strike and had inadvertently crossed the Wagah border from the army post where he was on duty.
“Such inadvertent crossing by the military and civilians are not unusual on either side. They are returned through existing mechanisms,” the Indian Army statement had said, as reported by NDTV.
Sepoy Chandu Babulal was posted in Mendhar district of Jammu and Kashmir near the Line of Control with the Rashtriya Rifles. He went missing in September.
After the information of his capture by Pakistani Army reached his family, his grandmother was not able to process the sad news and suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away.
“My grandmother died of cardiac arrest after hearing the news of Chandu being held captive in Pakistan. We had decided that we will not immerse her ashes until he returns. That day has finally arrived. The village is drowned in merriment and preparing to give Chandu a grand welcome,” said his brother Bhushan Chavan, who too serves the Armed Forces, as reported by The Indian Express.
Bhushan had received a call from the Minister of State for Defence and local MP Subhash Bhamre informing him about Chandu’s release.
A similar incident happened a few years back when a 7-year-old girl from India named Pooja Meghwal accidentally crossed Indian border when she lost her way back home. She was handed over to Indian authorities on a humanitarian grounds.
Also, a 12-year-old boy named Mohammed Tanveer was given back to Pakistan authorities in October. He was grazing his cattle near the border and came to the Indian side of Ferozpur, Punjab to drink water from a tube well. He was caught by the Border Security Force at the Dona Tely Mal Border in Punjab and was sent back to his village Dhari in the Kasur district of Pakistan.
The Logical Indian community appreciates such gesture and hopes that the two countries continue to build trust.