Soldier who strayed into Pak after surgical strike, gets 3 months jail term

Soldier who strayed into Pak after surgical strike, gets 3 months jail term

An Indian Army soldier, who strayed into Pakistan a day after the surgical strike last year, has been found guilty by a military court that awarded a sentence of 89 days of imprisonment to the soldier.

Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan was sentenced to 89 days of imprisonment in a military jail after he pleaded guilty, army sources said.

Asked about the charges against the sepoy, army officials said they could not comment because the sentence awarded by the General Court Martial was yet to be confirmed by the appropriate authority.
"As the matter is sub-judice, further comments can't be offered," they said.

However, it is learnt that Chavan was tried in a military court on charges of insubordination because he deserted the post and willingly crossed over to Pakistan — a serious offence in the army.

Chavan, who is from the Maratha light infantry and posted with the 37 Rashtriya Rifles, had "inadvertently" crossed the Line of Control in Kashmir hours after the Indian Army carried out a surgical strike on terrorist bases in September last year.

"One soldier from 37 RR with weapon has inadvertently crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control. Pakistan has been informed by the Director General of Military Operations on the hotline. Such inadvertent crossing by the army and civilians are not unusual on either side. They are returned through existing mechanisms," the army had stated in a press release on September 29, 2016.

Pakistan returned him in January 2017 as a goodwill gesture. "Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan, an Indian Army soldier, deserted his post at LoC due to his grievances of maltreatment against his commanders. He wilfully crossed the LoC on September 29, 2016, and surrendered himself to the Pakistan Army," stated a press statement from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations.

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