India, Pakistan border guards praised for safe return of girl

India, Pakistan border guards praised for safe return of girl
Bikaner:  The family of the seven-year-old girl who had strayed into Pakistan and the locals in her village have thanked border officials in both India and the neighbouring country for the safe return of the child.

Pooja, was handed over to Border Security Force (BSF) at Neelkanth outpost on Monday night. She returned home in new clothes and footwear and with candies which the Pakistan Rangers had given her.

"Sukhram (Pooja's father) was apprehensive about the condition of his daughter who had inadvertently strayed into Pakistan on Friday evening.

"(So) when he was informed by BSF officials that Pooja has returned safely, he was extremely happy," Ravindra Kachawa, sarpanch of 34 KYD Panchayat, told PTI on Wednesday.

"The BSF and Pakistan Rangers played a good role in locating her and ensuring her safe return. Sukhram thanked BSF and also conveyed the same gesture for Pakistan Rangers," Kachawa added.

Locals and Khajuwala Legislator Vishwanath Meghwal visited the girl's family at their residence to congratulate them on her return.

District Collector Arti Dogra said when the girl had crossed the fencing at the border and entered into Pakistan, "BSF informed their counterparts after footmarks suggested that she had entered into Pakistan.

"BSF was in regular touch with Pakistan and the result was good for all," she said.

BSF officials added that the Pakistan Rangers had fully cooperated with them during flag meetings and that they had taken proper care of the girl.

"Since her footwear and clothes, which she was wearing when she went missing, were in bad condition, the Rangers replaced them with new ones," BSF DIG Karan Singh Rathore said.

"The girl told us that she was offered biscuits and candies across the border," he said.

Another BSF official, who did not wish to be named, said the girl had ventured some 4-km inside Pakistani territory before finding a hut to take shelter in.

"On Saturday, when she woke up she found two cops approaching her who took her to another place where she was kept with care. A woman official was with her in Pakistan.

"The girl was normal when she was brought here. She was handed over to her father after a medical examination," the officer said.

The girl's family lives on a farm in the 43 KYED area of the district which is close to the Indo-Pak border.

Story First Published: April 03, 2013 16:57 IST

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