Union minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre said on Thursday Pakistan has committed it will release the Indian soldier, who inadvertently strayed across the Line of Control in September last year.
Chandu Chavan, a 22-year-old soldier from 37 Rashtriya Rifles, had mistakenly crossed the de-factor border in Kashmir hours after India’s surgical strikes on terrorist bases across the LoC. Chavan belongs to Borvihir village in Dhule district of Maharashtra.
Bhamre said Chavan is alive and that the Indian government is in contact with the relevant authority in Pakistan for Chavan’s release. He added that he will be released very soon.
The minister was in Mumbai to launch Khanderi - the second of six indigenously-built Scorpene class submarine at Mazagon docks.
The Pakistani army had earlier informed its Indian counterpart that it is not aware of Chavan’s whereabouts. Under a bilateral arrangement, soldiers who inadvertently cross the LoC are handed over to their side.
Chavan’s family has been under tremendous stress since the news broke on September 29 — his grandmother died of a heart attack two days later. Chavan’s parents died when he was two years old and grandmother Lilabai took care of her two grandsons.