Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chauhan, inadvertently crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control (LoC), a day after the surgical strikes, is in Pakistan’s custody, confirmed Islamabad’s DGMO. He was posted with 37 Rashtriya Rifles at Mendhar along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
By 2.30 pm that day, Lt General Singh had informed the Pakistan army on the hotline about Chavan, said sources. The Indian Army had clarified at the time that Chavan’s disappearance was not connected to the strikes.
Thursday’s acknowledgement by Pakistan has now raised hopes that Chavan will be returned to India through existing mechanisms.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured that the release of the Indian soldier was being taken up with Islamabad and all efforts are being made to ensure his early release.
Chauhan had allegedly been captured by Pakistani troops at Jhandroot, west of Mankote, and was now being kept at the military headquarters in Nikayal.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said on Sunday that the mechanism through the DGMO has been activated seeking return of the soldier.
Chauhan’s grandmother had passed away after hearing the news of his crossing over to Pakistan.