Seven Army personnel who were struck by an avalanche in a high altitude area of Kameng Sector in Arunachal Pradesh on February 6 have been confirmed dead.
According to the Indian Army, the bodies have been retrieved from the avalanche site. The Army had airlifted search and rescue teams to the location.
President Ram Nath Kovind said the death of soldiers is 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 wrote on its official Twitter account.
Expressing his condolence, defence minister Rajnath Singh wrote, “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.”
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.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offered condolences to the deceased soldiers’ families.
“Deeply saddened to know about the unfortunate demise of our seven brave jawans in the line of duty in the snowstorm in Arunachal Pradesh,” she said in a tweet. “Our jawans are selflessly striving for our safety and security. My salute to the jawans.
The area, located at an altitude of 14,500 feet, had been witnessing inclement weather with heavy snowfall since the last few days. The area has been witnessing inclement weather with heavy snowfall since the last few days, the force said. Arunachal Pradesh is generally divided into Kameng area on the west and Rest of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Army’s Eastern Command handles the 1,346-km-long Line of Actual Control including Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
This command has three corps – 33 Corps (Sikkim), 4 Corps (Kameng sector) and 3 Corps (Rest of Arunachal Pradesh) to handle the LAC.
(With inputs from agencies)