Amritsar (Punjab) , Jan. 31 : Indian soldier Chandu Chavan, who inadvertently crossed the Line of Control (LoC) into Pakistan last year, met his family for the first time after being released in Amritsar today.
Chandu Chavan's brother Bhushan Chavan expressed his gratitude to the Indian Army for taking strident efforts in bringing back his brother.
"I am also a soldier and I will forever remain grateful to the army for this. I am also grateful to the villagers, who supported me and my brother. Since I am overwhelmed with happiness, I am unable to express my feelings," Bhushan told ANI.
The Pakistani troops handed over Chandu yesterday to the Indian Army at Wagah Border after which he was debriefed and a special medical check-up was carried out.
Pakistan's Military's media wing, the ISPR, said in a statement, "As a gesture of goodwill and in continuation of our efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity along LOC and WB, Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chohan has been convinced to return to his own country and will be handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah Border on humanitarian grounds."
The soldier had inadvertently crossed the Line of Control on September 30 last year and was captured by the Pakistani troops, a day after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launchpads across the LoC.
The Indian Army has said that the soldier, who belongs to the Rashtriya Rifles, was not involved in the surgical strike.
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.