Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chohan, who was earlier reported captured from the Line of Control (LoC) on September 29, 2016, was returned to India on Saturday.
A press release from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the soldier was “convinced to return to his own country” after he deserted his post “due to his grievances of maltreatment against his commanders”.
According to the press release, Chohan had been stationed in Indian-held Kashmir. He had “wilfully crossed the LoC on September 29, 2016 and surrendered himself to the Pakistan Army,” the press release said.
The soldier will be “handed over to Indian authorities at Wahga border on humanitarian grounds,” the press release added.
As confusion ensued after the soldier’s ‘desertion’ on Sep 29, 2016, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi, while talking to Al Jazeera, had said that Pakistan Army had “captured an Indian soldier who was trying to enter” into Pakistani territory.
Lodhi, however, had denied that there had been any surgical strike inside the territory of Pakistan on the same day, as claimed by the Indian forces.
Pakistan Army had also reported killing several Indian soldiers on the same day during a firing incident across the LoC.
An Indian army official based in New Delhi had said, “It is confirmed one soldier from 37 Rashtriya Rifles with weapons has inadvertently crossed over to the Pakistan side of the Line of Control”.
Avoiding connecting the capture to the firing incident along the LoC on the same day, the Indian official had said such incidents of people including civilians crossing the frontier by mistake have happened in the past from both sides.
“Pakistan has been informed [of the soldier’s crossing]through the DGMO on hotline,” India’s ANI News had quoted Indian Army sources at the time.