Humanity Over Protocol: Indian Army Hands Over Body Of A 7-Yr-Old Boy To Pakistan
Three days ago, the body of a seven-year-old boy Abid Sheikh from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) was recovered from the Kishenganga River in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez sector. The Indian Army, contrary to established protocols, handed over the body to the Pakistan Army.
In accordance to #IndianArmy ethos & as a #Humanitarian gesture Indian Army handed over mortal remains of seven year old Abid Ahmad Sheikh,who belongs to Minimarg, Gilgit to Pakistan authorities. #Humanity #OurMoralOurValues #IndianArmy. Read full story..https://t.co/d9KwgBzVY4 pic.twitter.com/SyyjCP1wAp
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) July 11, 2019
The Indian Army soldiers, along with the Sub-District Magistrate from Gurez Sector, handed over the body of the young boy at 2 pm on July 11 at the Chorwan border.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Defence, the Indian Army immediately took action and were able to establish the identity of the young boy through civil administration.
Handing over of mortal remains of the POK boy in Gurez Sector by the Indian authorities to the Pakistani Army with full respect and religious rites. #Humanity, #Kashmir, #IndianArmy @NorthernComd_IA @adgpi @Whiteknight_IA @easterncomd pic.twitter.com/76r4vWj81O
— Chinar Corps – Indian Army (@ChinarcorpsIA) July 11, 2019
Abid had fallen off the cliff in PoK’s Minimarg area, just four kilometres away from the Line Of Control, into Burzil Nala. The body of the boy reached the J&K side of the border on July 9, after some residents of Achoora spotted the body floating down the Kishanganga river.
As the area had no mortuary, they arranged ice-packs carved from the mountains to prevent the body from decomposing, Station House Officer Tariq Ahmed told The Indian Express.
The body was in Gurez for two days as the Pakistani Army insisted the body to be returned at the designated exchange points, as far as 200 km from Gurez, fearing the mines dotting the area around Gurez.
The family of the boy came to know about their son’s death after the boy’s picture went viral on social media. “My only appeal to the people of India is to help in returning the body of my son. I will be indebted. Our Army chief should also play a positive role,” Sheikh’s father Nazir Sheikh said in a video posted online.
“Pakistan Army mentioned landmines on the LoC in Gurez as a reason not to exchange the body there and suggested Teetwal instead,” an official told the PTI.
“However, Pakistan later agreed for a spot in Churwan in Gurez. We had to the first flag of the body towards Kupwara and had to drive back to Gurez. We are hopeful to handover the body as soon as it reaches the LoC. Since the mobile network does not work, the final confirmation will be issued only tomorrow,” Mr Shiekh told PTI.
“In accordance to Indian Army ethos, as a humanitarian gesture, the Indian Army established contact with the Pakistan Army on the hotline and also convinced the civil administration to facilitate handing over of the body at the earliest,” the Indian Army said.
Netizens lauded the humane gesture by the Indian Army.