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Pakistan to hand over captured BSF trooper tomorrow

New Delhi: Pakistani authorities today assured their BSF counterparts that a jawan, who was captured in their territory after being swept away by a strong current of the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir, will be handed back tomorrow.

BSF sources said a company commander level flag meeting was held at 0245pm in the Nikowal border post area in Jammu's Sunderbani sector between Border Security Force and the Pak Rangers who said the BSF jawan Satyasheel Yadav (30) would return tomorrow.

"The stipulated time of handover of our trooper has been set at 3 pm. Some formalities will be done by the Rangers and then they would hand over Yadav back to us," the sources said.

Officials said they were informed that Yadav was in good condition and he is understood to have gone through some rounds of questioning by Pakistan intelligence and security sleuths. Yadav was out on a patrol with three other personnel in the Paragwal-Khour sub-sector of general area Akhnoor when the boat they were travelling in developed a problem yesterday.

Officials said when the patrol squad was negotiating a narrow bend in the river in this sector, the engine of the motorboat failed. A rescue boat later sent to fetch the BSF men was taken by three personnel but Yadav was swept in the strong current as the rope holding him snapped and he subsequently landed 400 metres away in the Sialkot sector of Pakistan where he was picked up by the villagers initially and then handed over to the Rangers, they said.

BSF Director General D K Pathak had earlier today said today said that the force was making all efforts to secure its jawan. "We have sent a request note through our Wagah frontier and have also requested for a Commandant level flag meeting. We are making all efforts to secure our trooper and I hope that he will be sent back to us very soon," Pathak had said.

The BSF chief added that the trooper had reached the Pakistan territory "accidentally" and he was not part of any "action" that the border guarding force was conducting yesterday when the incident happened.

In Lahore, a senior Rangers official said, "We have decided to free the Indian soldier. We have completed his interrogation. He will be handed over to the BSF tomorrow in the presence of the media after a flag meeting with BSF in Sialkot on Friday morning."

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