Body sent home, PoK boy’s family thanks people on both sideshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/body-sent-home-pok-boys-family-thanks-people-aabid-sheikh-indian-army-kashmir-5827186/

Body sent home, PoK boy’s family thanks people on both sides

In a video message on Thursday, the boy’s father said, “Today, we received the body. We are thankful to everyone that the body was sent to us with full security.”

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Indian Army handed over the dead body to Pakistan Army soldiers on July 12. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

The family members of the seven-year-old from Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, whose body was recovered from a river in Gurez valley in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Tuesday, has thanked people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) for helping them get the body back.

The child was identified as Aabid Sheikh, a resident of Minimarg in Astoor village of Gilgit-Baltistan.

In a video message on Thursday, the boy’s father said, “Today, we received the body. We are thankful to everyone that the body was sent to us with full security.”

The body was handed over to Pakistan army on Thursday through Gurez valley, close to the LoC.

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Soon after the last rites were performed, the family uploaded the video thanking people the same afternoon.

A family member said in the video, “I am Aabid’s Sheikh’s uncle. We performed his last rites today and we are thankful to everyone on both sides, especially Gurez locals and mothers and sisters and brothers on (the) other side, who took care of the body and in difficult conditions it (body) reached us. We are thankful to social media as well.”

Another uncle said the family is “touched by the gesture”.

On Thursday, villagers and officials in Gurez said it was for the first time that such an exchange had taken place in the locality in the recent past.

Aabid’s body was spotted on Tuesday morning in Kishenganga river in Achoora village, close to the LoC — it had floated down the river from Gilgit-Baltistan in PoK.

The local administration in Gurez along with the Army swung into action and informed the Pakistan army.

On Thursday, Army personnel and other members of the team carrying the child’s body went through a maze of minefields to hand it over to Pakistan army.

On Wednesday evening, an attempt was also made by the Indian authorities in Gurez to hand over the body to Pakistan.