ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Friday handed over to India a paramilitary soldier who was captured by the Pakistan Rangers after he was swept away into its territory by strong currents of river Chenab, local and foreign media reported.
Satyasheel Yadav – the 30-year-old trooper – was handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) by commanders of the Pakistan Rangers at the zero line in the RS Pura sector of Jammu district. A senior BSF officer said the soldier – who was dressed in his dark green combat fatigue – was in good health.
He also said that he has been taken for debriefing. “Yadav was handed over to us at 4:18pm near border pillar 918 along the ‘international border’ in Jammu Kashmir. The trooper is well and he is being taken to our nearby border post for meeting senior military officials,” he said.
Before going to India, Yadav told reporters that his boat accidentally strayed into the neighbouring land after it went out of control in strong river currents. “My colleagues swam out but I do not know swimming. The boat took me into Pakistani territory. I jumped into water near a Pakistan post and was rescued by jawans of the Pakistan Rangers,” he said in his narration of the events leading to his capture.
Flanked by Rangers officials, Yadav said he was made comfortable by them. “They took my introduction. They helped me to the extent they could. They kept me better than what I had thought. I have no complaints. I am happy,” he said. 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.
BSF officials had said that 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 got drifted 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.
Yadav is a resident of village Ranipura in Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh.