On October 13, Pakistan confirmed that Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan was in their captivity. Chavan was captured after he inadvertently crossed the LoC into PoK on September 29. It was the same day when Indian Army’s special forces conducted the surgical strikes on terror launch pads in PoK.
Now the Indian government has said that it will pursue the release of the soldier through diplomatic channels.
Chandu Babulal Chavan is a sepoy with the 37 Rashtriya Rifles.
A diplomatic intervention means that the Indian foreign ministry will take up the matter at the highest level.
The decision to take the matter at the diplomatic level was taken after Pakistan constantly ignored the DGMO’s request. The Pakistani army’s response goes against the existing mechanisms for the release of captured civilians and soldiers who inadvertently cross the LoC.
The fallout of the strike led to further deterioration of relations between India and Pakistan complicating the return of Chavan.
Born in 1994 in Jamner, Maharashtra, Chavan was raised by his grandparents following the death of his father in 1997 and mother in 2000. He has one older brother, who is also in the army, and a sister who has been married off.
Bhushan Chavan, the brother of captured Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan. Express Photo/Amit Chakravarty
His grandmother could not bear the news of his capture and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on the very day.
His family fears that Chavan will be tortured by Pakistani soldiers.
While the MEA will take up this matter with its Pakistani counterpart, it is worth noting that Pakistan has not yet responded to India’s request of consular access to former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was allegedly arrested from Balochistan in March on charges of spying.