Mumbai: Pakistan military authorities have committed to the release Indian soldier Chandu Chavan, who inadvertently strayed across the border in 2016, Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said in Mumbai on Thursday.
“They (Pakistan) have admitted that Chandu Chavan is alive, and that they will soon release him after inquiry, which is nearing completion,” Bhamre said after the launch of second Scorpene class submarine Khanderi, at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in south Mumbai.
“We are trying at the level of DGMO (Director General of Military Operations), to secure his release. So far, the DGMO has spoken to their Pakistan counterpart at least 15 to 20 times,” the minister said.
“The last time such talks took place was two days ago. They (Pakistan) said that the inquiry is getting over and Chandu Chavan will soon be released,” he said.
Incidentally, Chavan hails from Bhamre’s Lok Sabha constituency.
“I have been in regular touch with his family,” the minister said.
On September 30, 2016, Chavan had inadvertently crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control.
On being asked of claims by a BSF jawan through social media posts that poor quality food was being served to soldiers on the LoC, Bhamre said an inquiry has been ordered in this regard.
He said that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has made a detailed statement on the issue.
Notably, the BSF had on Wednesday submitted a report to the Home Ministry on the allegations of a jawan, stating that the ‘daal’ shown in his video was uncanned from tinned food ration and the ‘parantha’ was cooked in the unit mess as per procedures followed at high-altitude locations.
BSF Director General K K Sharma had himself submitted the interim report to the Union Home Ministry even as he informed Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi that the western front commander (Additional DG) of the force along with a dietician have been rushed to the border post in Jammu and Kashmir where the jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav was posted for a detailed inquiry.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had also said that the government has sent “experts and dieticians to each and every post of the border to ensure that the food quality of the jawans is as per the norms.”
Meanwhile, in reply to another query, Bhamre said the Navy has ordered a Board of Inquiry (BoI) of allegations against a senior Navy doctor after he was accused by a junior woman of molestation, including once at the residence of a senior officer.
“We will get the BoI report soon,” the minister said.