Soldier Chandu Babulal Chavan, who had inadvertently crossed the Line of Control (LoC) after the Army’s surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir last year, returned home on Saturday in north Maharashtra.
Chandu, who hails from Borvihir village in Dhule district, reached his village to a rousing reception by his family and the locals.
His brother Bhushan Chavan said it will be a happy Holi for the family as Chandu has returned after six months.
The 22-year-old jawan from 37 Rashtriya Rifles had gone missing on September 29 last year after he inadvertently crossed the LoC and stepped into the Pakistan soil. The Pakistan Army had immediately took him into captivity.
Unable to bear the agonising news, Chandu’s shocked grandmother, Leelabai, died of cardiac failure on October 1. Leelabai had brought up and looked after Chandu after he lost his parents when he was just a toddler.
“I will perform the ritual of ‘Asthi Visarjan’ of my grandmother after Holi,” Chandu said.
Pakistan authorities had on January 21 handed him over to India. After his release, Chavan had told his family that he was brutally tortured and regularly injected with drugs during his four-month captivity.
His brother Bhushan, who is also an army jawan posted at Jamnagar in Gujarat, had claimed his brother had multiple injuries on his body, especially on the fingers of his right hand.
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre accompanied Chandu till his village Borvihir today.
“I am happy that Chandu Chavan has been reunited with his family,” Bhamre said.