Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad is no more. His mortal remains consigned to flames while the nation mourned with the family of the brave soldier.
He joins nine of his equally brave brothers-in-arms who lost their lives in an avalanche on February 3, 2016.
But while the Indian Army was able to airlift Hanumanthappa to New Delhi immediately after they found him barely alive 25-feet deep in the snow, they are unable to do the same with the bodies of the remaining nine soldiers. 1.
Subedar Nagesha TT, resident of village Tejur; Hassan district Karnataka; 2.
Havaldar Elumalai M, resident of village Dukkam Parai, Vellore district, Tamil Nadu; 3.
Lance Havildar S. Kumar, resident of village Kumanan Thozhu, Teni district, Tamil Nadu; 4.
Lance Naik Sudheesh B, resident of village Monroethuruth, Kollam district, Kerala; 5.
Sepoy Mahesha PN, resident of village HD Kote, Mysore district, Karnataka; 6.
Sepoy Ganesan G, resident of village Chokkathevan Patti, Madurai district, Tamil Nadu; 7.
Sepoy Rama Moorthy N, resident of village Gudisa tana Palli, Krishna Giri district, Tamil Nadu; 8.
Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed S, resident of village Parnapalle, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh; 9.
Sepoy Nursing Assistant Suryawanshi SV, resident of village Maskarwadi, Satara district, Maharashtra.
“We continue to wait for favourable weather so that the mortal remains can be transported on helicopters,” a release from the Northern Command said.
Once that happens, the remains of the nine soldiers will reach Hunder, a place near Partapur in Siachen, where they be embalmed. The bodies will then be transported to Delhi from Thoise in an IAF aircraft.
“In Delhi, another wreath laying ceremony is planned, following which the bodies of the nine martyrs will be transported to their home towns,” said the Northern Command.
Once the weather gets favourable the entire operation starting from the airlift to the bodies reaching Delhi will take less than 24 hours, but it is nevertheless a torturing wait for the families of the soldiers.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah pays his tribute to Hanumanthappa at Hubbali on Friday. The Hindu
The news of Hanumanthappa’s survival brought joy to his family. His wife even went to a nearby temple after learning of the soldier’s survival.
This was how happy she was then.
One can imagine the situation of the Lance Naik’s family when they learned of his death at the Army R&R Hospital.
Mahadevi being consoled by the wife of Army chief General Dalbir Singh. PTI
The wait is unbearably ling for the dear ones of the departed soldiers but this is how the families of our brave men defending the country in some of the most inhospitable environments endure daily.
The families of the soldiers deserve our respect. Let us stand with them.