Nation mourns after Siachen glacier braveheart loses battle for life

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad breathed his last at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in the national capital at 11:45 am yesterday

New Delhi: Three days after his miraculous rescue from beneath tonnes of snow following an avalanche that hit his post in Siachen Glacier at a height of 19,600 feet, Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad breathed his last at Army Research and Referral Hospital in the national capital yesterday.

Army chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Navy Cheif, Admiral Robin K. Dhowan pay last respect to Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad at Brar square, New Delhi, yesterday. Pics/PTI

“Lance Naik Hanamanthappa is no more. He breathed his last at 11:45 am today (Thursday),” a senior army official said.

The 33-year-old soldier from the 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment is survived by his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and their two-year-old daughter Netra.

Koppad’s relatives mourn his death at his home in Betadur yesterday.
Koppad’s relatives mourn his death at his home in Betadur yesterday.

A resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad had joined the army 13 years back. Koppad’s condition, who was admitted to the hospital on February 9, had deteriorated yesterday.

Dubbed as the ‘miracle man’, the soldier had managed to stay alive for six days trapped under 25-feet of snow after an avalanche struck his post on February 3.

Rest in peace: Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad
Rest in peace: Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad

His condition was reviewed by a team comprising critical care specialists, the HoD Dept of Medicine, a senior nephrologist, a senior neurologist of the army hospital and a panel of experts from AIIMS on Wednesday.

PM condoles Koppad’s demise

New Delhi: "The soldier in you remains immortal," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yesterday while condoling Koppad’s demise. “He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India,” Modi tweeted.

Village plunges into grief
DHARWAD: The village in which Koppad resided plunged into grief following his demise, with Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah leading the state in paying homage to the braveheart. As the tragic news of Koppad’s demise broke, majority of his relatives, friends and villagers gathered near his residence.

Pak pitches for demilitarisation
New Delhi: On the day Siachen braveheart passed away died, Pakistan said time had come for passage of an ‘urgent’ resolution of Siachen issue between it and India by mutually withdrawing troops from there to ensure more lives are not lost due to harsh conditions on the glacier.  "These tragedies only reinforce the need to resolve the issue... urgently and through peaceful means, through dialogue,” Pakistani diplomat Abdul Basit said yesterday.

Tweet talk
@RashtrapatiBhvn:  Lance Naik Koppad was a hero who demonstrated exemplary will power and courage in the face of adversity #PresidentMukherjee
@ArvindKejriwal: V sad to hear about Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. May his soul rest in peace.
@Dev_Fadnavis: Maharashtra salutes Lance Naik #Hanumanthappa for his patriotic spirit. He is truly an inspiration. May
His soul rest in peace. Jai Hind

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