Returned Indian army soldier court-martialed, sentenced to 2 months imprisonment

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An Indian Army soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan, who had crossed the Pakistan-India border in 2016 and was subsequently returned by Pakistan in a gesture of goodwill, was court-martialed and sentenced to two months of imprisonment by an Indian army court, reported Indian news website Firstpost.

According to reports, Chavan had willfully run away from his post when the Indian army conducted an alleged “surgical” attack across the Line of Control (LoC) in 2016.

According to a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Chavan, who was stationed at Indian-held Kashmir, had “deserted his post at the LOC due to his grievances of maltreatment against his commanders”.

“He willfully crossed LoC on September29, 2016, and surrendered himself to Pakistan Army,” the statement said.

It further said that “as a gesture of goodwill and in continuation of our efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity along LoC and working boundary, Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan has been convinced to return to his own country and will be handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah Border on humanitarian grounds.”

He was returned to India by way of Wagah border and was then taken by the Indian army to an undisclosed location for interrogation. Chavan claimed that he had mistakenly crossed the boundary.

Chavan belongs to Borvihir village in Dhule district of Maharashtra. Despite conviction by an army court, Chavan will have a right to appeal in a higher court.