Pakistan returns captured Indian soldier Chandu Babulal on “humanitarian grounds”

Lahore [Pakistan], Jan. 21 : In a goodwill gesture, Pakistan handed over Indian soldier, Chandu Babulal Chohan, to Indian authorities today through the Wagah border, saying the decision was taken on "humanitarian" grounds.

"The decision of the government of Pakistan to return the Indian soldier is based on humanitarian grounds and the commitment to ensure peace and tranquility at the LoC and the Working Boundary," said a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan.

The statement further said that Pakistan believes in peaceful neighbourhood and rejects all actions aimed at undermining regional peace and security.

The soldier, Chandu Babulal Chouhan had inadvertently crossed the Line of Control on 30 September and was captured by Pakistani troops, a day after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC).

Indian Army has said that the soldier, who belongs to the Rashtriya Rifles, was not involved in the surgical strike.

Director General of Military Operations, Lt General Ranbir Singh has written to his Pakistan counterpart for returning the soldier.

Chavan's grandmother had passed away after hearing the news of his crossing over to Pakistan. Islamabad was informed about the soldier's movement on the hotline by India's Director General Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, according to an Army release issued by the Defence Ministry.

Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention protects captured military personnel, some guerrilla fighters, and certain civilians.

It applies from the moment a prisoner is captured until he or she is released/repatriated. One of the main provisions of the convention makes it illegal to torture prisoners and states that a prisoner can only be required to give their name, date of birth, rank and service number if applicable.

Source: ANI