NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condoled the demise of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who was extricated alive six days after an avalanche hit his post in Siachen Glacier, saying he has left "us sad and devastated".
"He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India," Modi tweeted.
He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 11, 2016
The soldier died today, three days after he was miraculously rescued alive from beneath tonnes of snow at a height of 19,600 feet after the February 3 avalanche hit.
The 33-year-old soldier of the 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment is survived by his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and two-year-old daughter Netra Koppad.
A resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad had joined the army 13 years back.
The condition of Koppad, who was admitted to Army Research and Referral Hospital here on February 9, had deteriorated yesterday.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed deep shock and profound grief over the death of Koppad.
"During his life, the braveheart son of India united the entire nation in praying for him and has every citizen grieving for him today," she said.
"He fought till his last displaying utmost valour, courage and determination, which is the hallmark of our Armed Forces," she said in a message extending her deepest condolence to Koppad's family and loved ones.
Condoling Koppad's death, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her sadness.
"Saddened by news of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. Brave soldier gave supreme sacrifice for the nation. Salute to him & his colleagues who died," Banerjee tweeted.
Saddened by news of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. Brave soldier gave supreme sacrifice for the nation. Salute to him & his colleagues who died— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 11, 2016