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Pakistan Returns Soldier Chandu Chavan Who Accidentally Crossed LoC Last Year

Indian soldier Chandu Chavan, who inadvertently crossed the Indo-Pak border last year, will be handed over soon to the Indian authorities by Pakistan at Wahga Border.

Shreya Dhoundial | CNN-News18

Updated:January 21, 2017, 5:50 PM IST
Pakistan Returns Soldier Chandu Chavan Who Accidentally Crossed LoC Last Year
File image of Indian soldier Chandu Chavan. (Image: CNN-News18/TV Grab)

New Delhi: In a goodwill gesture, after months of tense ties, Pakistan on Saturday returned to India soldier Chandu Chavan who had inadvertently crossed the Line of Control last year.

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre told CNN News18 that Chavan, a soldier with the Rashtriya Rifles in Kashmir, was released to the Indian authorities at the Wagah Border at 2:30pm.

“We got information only last week that Pakistan plans to release Chandu Chavan. Chandu is in Indian territory with Indian officials,” Bhamre said.

Chavan had on September 29 inadvertently crossed over to the other side of the LoC following which Pakistan had been informed by the DGMO on the hotline. Soon after the news broke, Chavan’s grandmother Lila Chindha Patil had died of shock.

His brother Bhushan on Saturday said his family was not informed of Chandu’s release by the Indian Army but got to know about it from Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor's tweet. “I am thankful to the Government of India and indebted to MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre ji and others for their efforts in bringing my brother back,” he said.

According to a statement by ISPR, the Pakistan Army’s media wing, Chavan, stationed in Jammu and Kashmir, "deserted his post at the LOC due to his grievances of maltreatment against his commanders".

"He wilfully crossed LOC on September 29, 2016 and surrendered himself to Pakistan Army," IANS quoted ISPR as saying the Pakistan Army's media wing claimed.

It claimed that "as a gesture of goodwill and in continuation of our efforts to maintain peace and tranquility along LOC and WB (International Border, Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan has been convinced to return to his own country and will be handed over to Indian authorities at Wahga Border on humanitarian grounds."

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| Edited by: Sujit Nath
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