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Arunachal: All seven soldiers trapped in avalanche found dead

Itanagar: All seven soldiers trapped in an avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district were found dead on Tuesday afternoon, local sources said.

The Indian Army along with the local police has reportedly managed to recover all the bodies.

Sources said the avalanche hit the army personnel on February 06 while they were on a regular patrol at the Chume Gyater area near Yangtse in the Tawang sector.

Several parts of Arunachal Pradesh including the Tawang and West Kameng districts have been witnessing inclement weather and heavy snowfall for the past few days.

The Chume Gyater area is around 100 km from the district headquarters of Tawang.

The seven soldiers belonged to the 19 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, an infantry regiment of the Indian Army.

The Indian Army in a statement said that bodies of all seven individuals have been recovered from the avalanche site and are currently being transferred to the nearest Army medical facility for further formalities.

Search and rescue operations have now been concluded. Bodies of all seven individuals have been recovered from the avalanche site. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, all seven have been confirmed deceased. The area, located at an altitude of 14500 feet, had been witnessing inclement weather with heavy snowfall since the last few days, the statement read.

Condolences pour in: Arunachal Pradesh Governor B D Mishra and Chief Minister Pema Khandu have condoled the death of the seven army jawans who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The governor, who was closely monitoring the search and rescue operation since February 06 along with top Army commanders expressed deep sorrow and said that the loss of life of seven soldiers is a big shock to the bereaved families, the Army and to the people of India.

Mishrsa said the enterprise of these brave hearts to secure the territorial integrity of our motherland, in spite of the vagaries of the weather and the difficulty of the terrain will always inspire us and it will be remembered by the people of Arunachal Pradesh and also the nation.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased soldiers, in this hour of grief, and I pray for the secure future of their kith and kin”, the governor said while conveying his condolences to the bereaved families on behalf of the people of Arunachal Pradesh.

It may be recalled that the 19th Battalion of Jammu & Kashmir Rifles received Governor’s Citation at Raj Bhavan on February 04 for their professional competence and élan, which they have displayed in their operational role while deployed on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh.

The soldiers of the battalion, by their grit, round the clock surveillance and appreciable bravery, have been maintaining the highest order of sanctity of the LAC.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu also expressed his condolences to the bereaved families of the jawans.

“Deeply saddened by the loss of lives of 7 brave Indian Army Jawans, who were trapped in an avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families on their tragic loss. May God give them enough strength to bear the irreparable loss. #OmShanti,” the chief minister said in a tweet.

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