Indian soldier who crossed LoC pleads guilty

New Delhi: An Indian soldier who crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and entered Pakistan in September last year around the time the surgical strike was conducted has pleaded guilty, informed sources said on Thursday.

Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan pleaded guilty before a General Courts Martial (GCM), the sources said.

The Sepoy crossed over to Pakistan-administered Kashmir on September 26, according to the Indian Army, and was taken captive by the Pakistan Army.

While it was earlier said he crossed over after the surgical strike, an Army statement clarified that the Rashtriya Rifles soldier did so on September 26. The Army’s Special Forces carried out a surgical strike on terror camps across the border on September 28-29.

Chavan was released on January 21 this year and handed over to India.

Army sources said that after Chavan pleaded guilty, he was awarded a punishment which is yet to be confirmed by “appropriate authorities”.

Chavan’s grandmother had passed away after hearing that he crossed over to Pakistan.

The issue was taken up by the Pakistan Army at the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) level and also taken up by the External Affairs Ministry, following which the soldier released.

Army courts can try soldiers for all kinds of offenses except for murder and rape of a civilian, which are tried by a civil court.

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