Jawan Who Strayed Across to Pakistan Seeks Premature Retirement

Soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan, who had "inadvertently" strayed across the Line of Control (LoC) in 2016 after the surgical strikes and spent nearly four months in captivity in Pakistan, has sought premature retirement.

Chavan, 24, who was admitted to the psychiatry ward in Military Hospital at Pune’s Kirkee, has written a letter to his seniors requesting them to relieve him from service, saying he is "disturbed".

The soldier, from 37 Rashtriya Rifles, had gone missing on 29 September 2016 after he “inadvertently” crossed the LoC, following which the Pakistan Army had taken him into custody. He was handed over to the Indian Army four months later.

After returning, Chavan, who hails from Dhule district, faced a sentence for leaving his post without informing his seniors and was later transferred to the Armed Corps Centre at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra.

Chavan, who was discharged from the hospital on Monday, said he was seeking retirement as he was "disturbed after whatever happened to him in the last two years".

"I have written to my seniors and requested them to prematurely discharge me from my duties and give me pension." - Chandu Babulal Chavan to PTI

Chavan said the Army provided him all possible help and he had no complaints.

A Southern Command officer, however, said they have not received any letter from Chavan.

"We are yet to know the fact as no letter from him has been received so far." - Southern Command Officer

Chavan was handed over back to the Indian Army on 27 January 2017 at around 3 pm at the Wagah Border in Punjab. After Chavan’s handover, he was debriefed and a special medical check-up was carried out.

He was then found guilty by an Army court which sent him to three months of imprisonment. Chavan was tried by a General Court Martial where he pleaded guilty with an option to appeal against his sentence.

Chaval’s grandmother Lila Chindha Patil had also died the next day after hearing of his capture by the enemy forces, a close relative told media.

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