Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, November 19, spoke to Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and was appraised about the situation in Siachen. Six persons, including four soldiers and two porters, were killed in an avalanche the previous day. The calamity struck army positions in the northern part of the glacier.
"Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat regarding the tragedy in Siachen. CoAS has apprised RM of the ground situation in Siachen," the office of the Defence Ministry tweeted.
Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter offering condolences to the soldier's families and said he was deeply pained by the incident. "Deeply pained by the demise of soldiers and porters due to avalanche in Siachen. I salute their courage and service to the nation. My heartfelt condolences to their families," Singh tweeted. Six persons, including four soldiers and two porters, were killed in the avalanche on Monday.
The avalanche had hit Army positions in the Siachen glacier after which eight army personnel were stuck under the snow. The altitudes in the northern glacier are at a height of 18,000 feet. The soldiers hit by the avalanche were part of a patrolling party consisting of eight persons and were in the northern glacier when the incident took place.
“Avalanche Rescue Teams from the nearby posts were rushed to the location,” a defence spokesman said. He said that all the eight personnel were pulled out of the avalanche debris. “Seven individuals who were critically injured were accompanied by medical teams, providing critical care and were evacuated by helicopters to nearest Military Hospital, where all life-saving resuscitative measures were instituted," he added. However, despite best efforts, six casualties took place, which include four soldiers and two civilian porters who succumbed to extreme hypothermia.
Siachen Glacier is the world's highest battlefield. India had deployed troops in its territory since 1984 after Pakistan tried to usurp the glacier by sending its troops and trying to seize the strategically located glacier. Both India and Pakistan maintain a permanent military presence in the region. Since the new UnionTerritory of Ladakh was established, Siachen has been part of the UT and has recently allowed tourists to visit the place.