SRINAGAR: It’s official. Wednesday’s Siachen avalanche that trapped 10 soldiers from the 19 Madras Regiment was a killer. The official confirmation came through a tweet from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which read: “Demise of soldiers in Siachen is very tragic. I salute the brave soldiers who gave their lives to the nation. Condolences to their families.”
The Army, however, refused to disclose the identity of the soldiers, saying they would share the information only after individually informing the families first.
A junior commissioned officer (JCO) and nine soldiers manning a post in the world’s highest battlefield -- at an altitude of 19,600 ft in the Northern Glacier sector in Ladakh -- were buried under snow after a massive avalanche flattened their post.
The Army’s Northern Command chief Lt Gen D S Hooda saluted the soldiers for the making ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
It is a tragic event and we salute the soldiers, who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” he said.
Before the PM confirmed the deaths, India had turned down the Pakistan army’s offer to assist in rescue operation.
Officials claim that the director-general of military operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh declined his Pakistani counterpart’s offer, saying adequate resources were already in place.