BSF-Rangers Flag Meet Today; Jawan To Be Returned At Octroi

7 August 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: BSF jawan Satyasheel Yadav of 33 battalion today spent second day in the custody of Pakistan Army and Rangers in Sialkot district of Lahore province, where he was swept away yesterday in strong currents of river Chenab from Akhnoor sector after a BSF boat developed technical fault while undertaking regular patrolling in the river waters. The BSF and Rangers held a flag meeting at the level of Company Commanders at Nikowal Post in Pargwal sector of Akhnoor this afternoon in which both sides exchanged letters and the Rangers finally conveyed to the BSF that Yadav would be repatriated to India at 3.30 pm tomorrow on Pakistan side of Octroi Post in Suchetgarh sector of RS Pura tehsil after another high level flag meeting. In New Delhi, India today summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner and sought immediate release of the BSF jawan, who was accidentally swept away to Pakistan side of the International Border (IB) yesterday morning while his three colleagues had swim to safety and were brought back to Indian side by a rescue boat. Official sources told the Excelsior that Company Commanders of BSF and Rangers met at Nikowal post in Pargwal sector of Akhnoor tehsil at 2.30 pm today and exchanged letters. The BSF official apprised the Rangers about Yadav's accidental slip into Pakistan territory. The Rangers presented a note on capture of the BSF jawan and sought confirmation of his identity, which the BSF did. The flag meeting lasted about 15 minutes in which the Rangers confirmed that Satyasheel Yadav was in their custody and would be handed over to the BSF tomorrow on Pakistan side of Octroi Post in RS Pura sector at 3.30 pm tomorrow. Sources said the BSF and Rangers would hold high level flag meeting at Octroi Post tomorrow after which the Rangers would repatriate Satyasheel Yadav. According to sources, Pakistan has kept Yadav in Makriwalla Camp of Sialkot district in Lahore province, where he was being interrogated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Field Intelligence Unit (FIU). 'The stipulated time of handover of our trooper has been set at 3.30 pm. Some formalities will be done by the Rangers and then they would hand over Yadav back to us,' sources said. They said they were informed that Yadav was in good condition and he is understood to have gone through some rounds of questioning by Pak intelligence and security sleuths. At BSF Headquarters in Paloura, newly appointed IG BSF, Jammu Frontiers, Rakesh Sharma held a series of meetings with top brass to review situation arising out of the washing away of the BSF jawan to Pakistan yesterday. The BSF here was in regular touch with their headquarters in New Delhi and kept them abreast of minute-to-minute situation. BSF Director General D K Pathak 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 back tomorrow,' he added. The BSF chief said 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.' Yadav was out on a patrol with three other personnel in the Pargwal-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 meters 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. In New Delhi, India today summoned the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner and sought immediate release of the BSF jawan. The issue was also raised by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad with the Pakistan Foreign Office, officials sources said. The Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner was called by Joint Secretary Incharge of Pakistan division in External Affairs Ministry Rudrendra Tandon and told that Pakistani Government should facilitate the return of the BSF jawan as soon as possible, according to sources. Meanwhile, the family of the BSF jawan today thanked the BSF and the Government for their efforts after the news of his scheduled release reached their home in Ranipur locality in Matsaina area of Ferozabad division in Uttar Pradesh. Sukhveer, brother of the BSF jawan Satyasheel Yadav (30) said that they have received a call from 33rd battalion of BSF that his brother will be released within 24 hours. 'My brother is a true soldier and was performing his duty. He should be set free as soon as possible,' he said. Sukhveer said that he wanted to thank the Government, Army, BSF and the media for taking up the issue timely.