The mortal remains of 14 soldiers, who were killed in deadly avalanches in Gurez and Sonamarg will be transported to Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir via helicopters on Saturday. Further, the soldiers’ remains will be flown to their native places as soon as weather is clear, Army said at Srinagar on Friday.
“Arrangements are in place to carry the mortal remains of the martyrs to their native places immediately after weather becomes clear,” Defence Spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said. The bodies of the soldiers were recovered after the concerted efforts of the Avalanche Rescue Teams (ART), which is equipped to work especially in inhospitable terrain and weather conditions, following the avalanches.
Giving details, he said, an army post near Mahazgund village in Gurez valley was struck by an avalanche at around 5 PM on January 25, in which three shelters were buried under the snow and seven soldiers trapped.
“Swift action by a few soldiers at the post and timely help from the villagers of Mahazgund ensured saving of six soldiers. Unfortunately, three soldiers could not be saved whose bodies were retrieved on January 26 by the ARTs that were rushed to the post,” he said.“
At around same time, a patrol unit of Junior Commissioned Officer and 10 other personnel was caught in a massive avalanche near Niru in Gurez Valley, in which all the 11 soldiers were trapped,” he said, adding none of the soldiers could be saved at this place.
The Army prays for the gallant departed souls who braved all odds with exemplary commitment and dedication to duty and made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland, he said.
“Our hearts go out to the bereaved families and we pray to almighty to grant them strength to bear this irreparable loss,” the spokesman said.
Credit: PTI Graphic