The army will repatriate two 16-year-old boys from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir across the Wagah border on Friday after they were cleared of charges in the Uri attack that killed 19 soldiers last year.
In a statement, the army said the director general of military operations (DGMO) informed his Pakistani counterpart about the repatriation, while expressing concern about terrorist movement along the Line of Control.
“The individuals will be repatriated through Wagah border on 10 March,” said the statement.
This comes a day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told a Jammu court that it didn’t find any proof of involvement of Class 10 students Faisal Husain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed in the September 18 Uri strikes.
Four suicide attackers targeted the infantry brigade headquarters in Uri, resulting in the death of 19 soldiers. Two days later, villagers in Uri apprehended Awan and Khursheed from the area. The boys were handed over to the army and during initial interrogation, the boys said they acted as guides of four Uri suicide attackers.
But later during the boys, who study in the same school, said they confessed about the Uri attack as they were scared of being beaten.
Awan and Khursheed are natives of Pitha Jandgran and Khiyana Khurd villages respectively in the PoK. The villages are just an hour’s journey on foot from the LoC
The boys told the NIA, which was probing the Uri attack case, they left their home and inadvertently strayed across the LoC after a girl complained of misbehaviour.
The NIA found their testimony credible as technical evidence suggested they had crossed the LoC two days after the Uri attack.
The NIA filed a closure report in their case but didn’t attribute the reasons for their leaving home to pressure of studies from parents.