An Indian Army soldier who "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.
ANI reported that the neighboring country's DGMO accepted that Chandu Babulal Chauhan is in their custody. This is the first reaction by Pakistan on the incident.
Pakistan DGMO acknowledges it has Army Jawan Chandu Chavan in custody: Army sources
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 13, 2016
Islamabad was informed about the soldier’s movement on the hotline by India's Director General Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, according to an Army release issued by the Defence Ministry.
Chauhan belong to 37 Rashtriya Rifles and crossed the LoC with a weapon. The release also said that such incidents were not rare and soldiers who cross over are returned 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.
India has repeatedly written to Pakistan, seeking his return but has not got a positive response yet. Sources said that while India’s message was received by the other side, they have not responded yet.
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.
Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention protects captured military personnel, some guerrilla fighters, and certain civilians. It applies from the moment a prisoner is captured until he or she is released/repatriated. One of the main provisions of the convention makes it illegal to torture prisoners and states that a prisoner can only be required to give their name, date of birth, rank and service number if applicable.
With inputs from agencies