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Captured Indian Soldier Chandu Chavan’s Brother Implores Indian And Pak Officials For Help

Published on 3 January, 2017 at 11:59 pm By

Chandu Chavan, an Indian soldier who was serving with the 37 Rashtriya Rifles, inadvertently crossed the LOC and was captured by the Pakistani army in September. His grandmother died of a heart attack two days after news of his capture broke.


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Pakistani authorities have confirmed that they have an Indian soldier in custody. While Indian authorities insist that they have been trying to arrange Chavan’s release, three months later, the family is still waiting for word on Chandu’s return. His brother, Bhushan, who is also in the army, has sent many messages to Indian and Pak authorities on Twitter, imploring them to help with his brother’s release.

 


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The Pak official Bhushan messaged, responded,


Bhushan then messaged Ansar Burney, a human and civil rights activist in Pakistan.


While Ansar replied to Bhushan’s message and asked him to send all the details via email, Indian authorities have steadfastly turned a deaf ear to this man’s pleas. Every now and again, Bhushan sends them messages asking them to find the time to send him a reply, say anything at all about Chandu’s chances of coming home, but after the initial platitudes, the only answer he’s gotten is a resounding silence.


Bhushan Chavan is leaving no stone unturned in his fight to bring his brother back. He has spent the last three months messaging anyone and everyone asking for help with his brother’s release. The noise he has been making may have fallen on deaf ears as far as Indian authorities go, but his story seems to have shaken a lot of people on social media out of their complacent stupor.

Here is what a lot of Reddit users are saying about Chandu’s predicament and Bhushan’s fight to get him out.

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Unlike what a lot of people, and media outlets might say, there are people on both sides of the border wondering why both India and Pakistan have prisoners of war when we aren’t in a state of war with each other. Despite all the blind rage and communal hatred that seems to run through so many people in both countries, there are those who realize that Chandu, like so many poor soldiers, farmers, fishermen, before him, is a prisoner of an insidious war, a political war. There are those who see that on either side of the border, soldiers, like the rest of us, are mere pawns in the hands of the great chess players — the politicians. Indian or Pakistani, everyone acknowledges the unfairness of it all.

Here is what regular people from across the border are saying about the situation.

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That last comment sums up why it is that Chandu is still imprisoned. He’s a poor man from a small town. His brother’s livelihood depends on the same institution that is responsible for his release, so there’s only so much Bhushan can push without endangering his own job.

And let’s face it, we don’t really care about the poor in this country. Sure we’ll write a scathing comment or two online if “one of our own” is captured by “the enemy”, but that’s about as far as our outrage goes. Because the truth is, Chandu isn’t one of our own. If he were, we’d have to care. And boy, wouldn’t that be a drag!

The biggest loophole in all of it remains the fact that India and Pakistan are not at war. This is why people like Chandu disappear from the public conscious. Because, how can there be prisoners of war when there is no war?

Prisoners of a war that does not exist tend to get lost in the cracks. Between India and Pakistan. Between “Yes, we have him” and “No, we don’t”. Between being and having been. Like the invisible war, they also become invisible.


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