The Indian Army soldier, Chandu Babulal Chavan who was handed over by Pakistan in January 2017, after he had crossed the India-Pakistan border during the 2016 surgical strike has been court-martialed on Wednesday, CNN-News 18 reported.
The army court has sentenced Chavan to two months of imprisonment and has also forfeited his pension for two years as penalty. CNN-News18 sources said that Chavan had reportedly run away from his post during the surgical strike across the border.
Despite conviction by an army court, Chavan will have right to appeal in a higher court.
Earlier in January, Pakistan in a “goodwill gesture” had returned Chavan, claiming that he had crossed the International Border “willfully”.
Chavan came back to India through the land transit route of Attari-Wagah border. Pakistani forces handed him over to the Indian Army, which took him to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
Chavan, posted with 37 Rashtriya Rifles, had claimed that he had mistakenly crossed the boundary in Kashmir, hours after India conducted surgical strike on terrorist bases across the LoC.
However, according to a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan army’s media wing, Sepoy Chavan, stationed in Jammu and Kashmir had “deserted his post at the LOC due to his grievances of maltreatment against his commanders”.
“He wilfully crossed LoC on 29 September, 2016, and surrendered himself to Pakistan Army,” the statement said.
It said that “as a gesture of goodwill and in continuation of our efforts to maintain peace and tranquility along LoC and WB, International Border, Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan has been convinced to return to his own country and will be handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah Border on humanitarian grounds.”
Chavan belongs to Borvihir village in Dhule district of Maharashtra. His grandmother suffered a cardiac arrest and died after the family was informed that he was captured by the Pakistan Army. India had been in regular touch with Pakistan for the release of Chavan.