Three army soldiers killed in north Kashmir avalanche

Body retrieved from the avalanche site: police
Army soldiers patrol on a snow-covered area near the LoC, in Poonch. [Representational Image]
Army soldiers patrol on a snow-covered area near the LoC, in Poonch. [Representational Image]File: ANI

Srinagar, Nov 18: Three army soldiers were killed on Friday after being hit by an avalanche in Machhil sector of frontier Kupwara district in north Kashmir, officials said.

“In an unfortunate incident, 3 jawans of 56 RR achieved martyrdom in the line of duty in Machhil area when they came under an avalanche,” said a police official.

He said all the bodies have been retrieved from the site of the avalanche.

Three soldiers, part of a patrol party near the LoC in Machhal Sector, Kupwara, made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, said a defense spokesman.

“A routine link patrol was undertaken on the intervening night of 17 and 18 Nov 22 in Machhal Sector. During the patrol, Gunner Souvik Hazra, complained of breathing difficulty. After initial assessment, it was planned to evacuate him to the nearest post. During move to the nearest post, the tail of the patrol party came under a massive snow slide. A search and rescue was immediately launched with troops from the nearest post also moved to undertake the operation.”

“In the meanwhile, medical situation of Gunner Souvik Hazra, who was diagnosed with hyperthermia, started deteriorating. An air evacuation request was raised at about 10.30 AM and he was evac to 168 MH, Kupwara. The braveheart later succumbed to his medical condition at the Military Hospital.

 The search party at the snow slide site located Lance Naik Mukesh Kumar. He was moved to the nearby post and further evacuated to 168 MH, Kupwara at about 02.30 PM by the helicopter. The braveheart, however succumbed to his medical condition at the Military Hospital. Naik Gaikwad Manoj Laxman Rao was however still missing.

In the meanwhile, a specialised rescue team along with Avalanche rescue dog from Z Gali were airlifted and immediately inducted to locate the missing individual. After extensive search, Naik Gaikwad Manoj Laxman Rao was recovered at around 04.30 PM and was air evacuated to 168 MH, Kupwara. The braveheart also could not be revived and succumbed to his medical condition. 

Late Naik Gaikwad Manoj Laxman Rao was forty one years old and had joined Army in 2002. He belonged to Village Chunchkkede, Post Dhule, Tehsil, Dhule District in Maharashtra. The braveheart is survived by his wife. 

Late Lance Naik Mukesh Kumar was twenty two years old and had joined Army in 2018. He belonged to Village Sajwantgarh, Post Rodu, Tehsil Ladnun, District Nagaur in Rajasthan. The braveheart is survived by his mother. 

Late Gunner Souvik Hazra was twenty two years old and had joined Army in 2019. He belonged to Village Khamarberia, Post Onda, Tehsil Bankura Sadar, District Bankura in West Bengal. The braveheart is survived by his uncle. 

The mortal remains of the three bravehearts will be taken for last rites to their respective native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours. In this hour of grief, the Indian Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families and remains committed to their dignity and wellbeing.”

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