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Attempts being made to free Indian soldier from Pakistani cutsody: Rajnath Singh

ISLAMABAD: All attempts are being made to secure the release of an Indian soldier who was captured by the Pakistan Army at the Line of Control, The Indian Express quoted Home Minister Rajnath Singh as saying on Friday.

While the Indian side maintains the soldier “inadvertently crossed into Pakistan and should be returned as per existing mechanisms”, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi said he was captured “while trying to enter into Pakistani territory”.

Security sources told Dawn.com a 22-year-old Indian soldier by the name of Chandu Babulal Chohan was taken into custody by Pakistani forces.

“All attempts are being made to secure his release,” Singh told reporters in the Indian capital after attending a meeting to discuss internal security.

The Indian minister said New Delhi will take up the matter with Islamabad for his early release.

Mystery surrounded the Indian soldier’s arrest initially due to a lack of confirmation from official channels in both countries. Taking advantage of this information gap, India maintained that a soldier had accidentally crossed the LoC so it can request his return under existing mechanisms.

“It is confirmed one soldier from 37 Rashtriya Rifles with weapons has inadvertently crossed over to the Pakistan side of the Line of Control,” an Indian army official said in New Delhi.

Avoiding connecting the capture to Thursday firing incident in which two Pakistani soldiers and several Indian soldiers were killed, he said such incidents of people including civilians crossing the frontier by mistake have happened in the past from both sides.

“Pakistan has been informed [of the soldier’s crossing] through the DGMO on hotline,” ANI News quoted Indian Army sources as saying.

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