All 7 Indian Army personnel hit by avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh dead
Representational Image (ANI Photo)
IN a shocking revelation on Tuesday (8), the Indian Army said all the seven missing personnel who were struck by an avalanche in a high-altitude area of Kameng sector in the Tawang district of the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday (6) were dead.
The Asian News International quoted the army as saying that the bodies of the ill-fated personnel were retrieved from the avalanche site.
Indian president Ram Nath Kovind condoled the death of the soldiers saying it was a tragedy beyond words.
“The brave soldiers laid down their lives for the service of the nation. Their selfless sacrifice will always be remembered. My condolences to their families,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the president, wrote on its official Twitter account.
Indian vice president Venkaiah Naidu also shared his grief over the loss of the lives. “Deeply saddened by the loss of lives of Army personnel who were struck by an avalanche while on a patrol at a high altitude area in Arunachal Pradesh. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. Their selfless service to the nation will always be remembered,” he said.
Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh expressed his shock on Twitter, writing, “Deeply pained by the demise of Indian Army personnel who were struck by an avalanche in Kemang Sector, Arunachal Pradesh. These brave soldiers lost their lives while serving the nation. I salute their courage and service. My heartfelt condolences to their bereaved families.”
Indian law minister Kiren Rijiju, who is a parliamentarian from the north-eastern most state, said, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives of 7 brave Indian Army Jawans, who were trapped in an avalanche in Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. May God give them strength to bear this tragic loss.”
The personnel were part of a patrol team that had gone missing after being hit by the avalanche.
Sang Thinley, officer-in-charge of Dirang police station in West Kameng had earlier said the incident happened along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China on Sunday (6).
“Seven Army personnel of 19 JAK Rifles have been reportedly struck by an avalanche in the area near Mammy Hut. Following the incident, Army officials had reported the incident at Jang police station. The area is very remote and all roads have been blocked due to snowfall,” Thinley was quoted as saying by ANI.
Defence sources in Tezpur in the state of Assam neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh had said a search and rescue operation was underway soon after.