LAHORE: Two teenage boys from PoK, against whom the NIA dropped charges of conspiracy in the Uri terror strike, were today reunited with their families at the Wagah border after spending nearly six months in detention.
Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed had been handed over to the Jammu-based 16 Corps of the army this week after the probe agency came to the conclusion that the two had strayed into the Indian side after a tiff with their parents due to the pressure of studies.
Border Security Force handed Awan and Khursheed to the Pakistan Rangers at the Wagah border, where their family members were present to greet them. "I am extremely happy to see my son among us. I am thankful to the governments of Pakistan and India for the safe release of my son," Awan's father told reporters at the Wagah border.
He said the families of both the boys had suffered extreme mental pain after they were arrested in India. "The boys crossed over to the Indian side from Kashmir by mistake. Both governments must evolve some mechanism to deal with such cases on humanitarian grounds," he said.
Awan's brother Abdul Mustafa said Awan will now go back to his school and continue studies. "At times we had lost hope to see Awan among us. We are thankful to God, both governments and the media," he said.
The army's unit at Uri had detained the boys and questioned them at length after the September 18 attack on its camp in which 19 personnel were killed.
The NIA had said that the evidence collected in the form of statements, technical analysis of their mobile phones, seized GPS devices and other circumstantial evidence collected by the NIA "did not reveal any linkage of the suspects with the Uri attackers".
The army had detained the two on September 23, barely days after the terror strike, and claimed that the two had allegedly acted as guides of the four terrorists who carried out the attack on the Uri garrison in North Kashmir.
On September 18 last year, four heavily armed militants had stormed the Uri army base camp, killing 19 soldiers and injuring a few others. The NIA had taken over the investigation in the case from the state police. The two youths were arrested by the BSF and the army in a joint operation at Angoor Post in Gavalata village in Uri.
They were also brought to the NIA headquarters in Delhi for detailed interrogation.The NIA has claimed that terror group Laskar-e-Taiba was behind the Uri attack.