Indian soldier who strayed into Pakistan crossed LoC ‘knowingly’


KARACHI: Investigations into the circumstances in which the Indian soldier crossed over into Pakistan have revealed that the soldier wilfully crossed the Line of Control (LoC) after an altercation with his superiors.

India has maintained that Chandu Chavan had ‘inadvertently’ strayed across the LoC.

Pakistan Army on 21st January returned him to the India authorities at the Wahga border on humanitarian grounds. The ISPR had stated he had deserted his post due to ‘grievances of maltreatment’ against his superiors, a claim which India earlier had denied.

Read more: Pak Army hands over Indian soldier captured on day of ‘surgical strikes’

The sepoy crossed over into Pakistan and surrendered to the Pakistan Army on September 29, 2016, the day the Indian army claimed it had conducted surgical strikes against militants following the attack in Uri that killed 19 soldiers.

Highly placed officials told the newspaper, “Chavan had an argument with his superiors over the distribution of duties after which he abandoned his post.”

Northern Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda, confirmed this to Hindustan Times saying, “I received information that the jawan had gone missing from his post after an argument with the JCO (junior commissioned officer). Soon, we got information that he had gone across.”

Hooda, the northern army commander in September, retired in November-end.

Chavan was posted with 37 Rashtriya Rifles, a unit specifically tasked with manning forward posts on the fence along the Line of Control.

It is unlikely that he would not be aware that Pakistani territory lies across the fence, a senior military official confided to Hindustan Times.

The statement from Pakistan said that the soldier was “convinced to return to his own country” after he deserted his post “due to his grievances of maltreatment against his commanders”.

Read more: Return of Indian soldier is Pakistan’s commitment to peace: FO