08/12/2016 10:03 AM IST | Updated 08/12/2016 10:31 AM IST

Pakistanis Arrested For Helping Uri Terrorists Are Class 10 Students: Report

"I can only hope someone powerful in India reads our story and sends these boys home."

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Smoke rises from the army base which was attacked by militants in the town of Uri, Kashmir on 18 September.

The two Pakistanis arrested for allegedly facilitating the terrorist attack on an Indian army base in Uri, Kashmir on 18 September are Class 10 students, the family of one boy and their school principal have toldThe Indian Express.

The deadly terrorist attack claimed the lives of nineteen Indian soldiers.

The two boys, Faisal Husain Awan, and Ahsan Khursheed, who hail from villages in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, were arrested on 21 September. The Ministry of External Affairs said the two had confessed to facilitating the "infiltration of a group of four Jaish-e-Muhammad cadre who carried out the Uri army camp attack." Later, the attack was attributed to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, not the Jaish-e-Muhammad.

But Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum, Awan's brother, a Lahore-based physician, told The Indian Express that both boys were at home on 17 September, the day that the Uri terrorists reportedly crossed the Line of Control. On 20 September, Tabassum said that his brother woke up late and he decided not to go to school. Instead, Awan planned to visit the nearby Pir Kanth shrine. His family believes that the boys lost their way and ended up crossing the Line of Control.

"I am his older brother, and I am supposed to protect him. I do not know what to do. I can only hope someone powerful in India reads our story and sends these boys home," Tabassum told the newspaper.

Basharat Husain, the principal of the the Shaheen Model School in Muzaffarabad, described Awan as "a model student, respectful and friendly," who attended school regularly and displayed "exemplary behaviour."

The Indian Express also reported that school mark sheets of the two boys suggests that they were 16, which would make them juveniles and qualifies them for special protections under Indian law.

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