Siachen News & Discussion

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arshyam
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby arshyam » 12 Feb 2016 19:40

Image
Crowd pay its last tribute as the mortal remains of Hanamantappa Koppad at his native village in Betadur on Friday | Express Photo

From here: Amdist Tears and Slogans, Koppad Laid to Rest in His Native Village - TNIE

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Feb 2016 20:16

Dilbu: Thanks for taking time to honor the fallen soldier.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Dilbu » 12 Feb 2016 20:31

ImageImageImageImageImage
Sorry about the quality of pics. Some of them are from early in the day when crowd is starting to build up. Did not take the picture of body on stage as I felt it is not respectful to go there with mobile phone in hand.

Mods: please resize the image. Don't know how.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Baikul » 12 Feb 2016 20:39

Dilbu wrote:We started at 12.30 at night from Bangalore ...........


Dlibuji, my heartfelt gratitude that you went and that you wrote about your experience.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Prem » 12 Feb 2016 21:43

Baikul wrote:
Dilbu wrote:We started at 12.30 at night from Bangalore ...........


Great Job and Thanks!

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rsingh » 12 Feb 2016 22:05

Dilbu wrote:We started at 12.30 at night from Bangalore and reached Hanumanthappa's home town Betadur by 7.30 AM. There was stage setup infront of a govt school and lot of police vehicles were there. We asked a policeman what is the plan. He said the body has reached KMC Hubbali by then and it will be 11 AM before it reaches his village. He asked us whether we were from media.

He was very reluctant to give out details in the beginning but his attitude changed when we told him that we are just civilians coming from Bangalore to pay homage to a brave soldier of our country. He said Hanumanthappa is a brave boy and he deserves this respect. Then he spoke on his mobile phone and informed us that the convoy will reach Hubbali Nehru stadium at 8 AM. He also gave us a detailed description on how to reach the place. Before he left another villager who was overhearing the conversation approached us and asked us to accompany the convoy and come back to the vollage for last rites.

We reached the stadium at 7.45 am and long winding queue of people had already formed. There were people from all walks of life. Many were carrying flowers. We searched a lot on the way but could not find a florist because of the early hours.

By 8.20am the convoy carrying martyr's body artived. Crowd started chanting 'bharat mata ki jai', 'vande mataram' and 'Hanumanthappa amar rahe'. I joined in the chorus but could not hold back my tears as the body was placed on the stage. The coffin was draped in tricolour and tatra truck which carried it was covered in flowers. The queue started moving slowly and once our turn came we prayed for a moment and saluted him before getting ushered away from the stage.

The whole scene was deeply emotional and draining. There were loud shouts of amara rahe still ringing out as more and more people started coming into the stadium. We walked out and took a moment to gather ourselves. We decided against going back to the village as it will be a while before the convoy moved from the stadium. We went back inside and took a last look at the whole scene before heading back to bangalore.

Just reached back and need to get some sleep. Will try to upload some photos later in the day.


May God bless you Sir.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Raja Bose » 12 Feb 2016 22:52

Dilbu, thank you for being there for us.

Looks like the common man now knows the true colour of our presstitutes and even a village policeman knows what kind of anti national scoundrels they are.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby KJo » 12 Feb 2016 23:10

It's heart warming to see how the nation has reacted after this tragedy. Earlier it used to be disdainful and "not my problem". Here in the US there is a lot of respect for armed forces and this is a good thing that we need to encourage in India also.

Dilbu, well done and thanks.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby sudeepj » 12 Feb 2016 23:10

Seeing the crowds reaffirms my faith after witnessing the disturbing outbursts at certain universities. There are no words to express the sacrifices by our soldiers at Siachen.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Sanju » 12 Feb 2016 23:32

It is people like Dilbu and those who were part of the crowd for the funeral rites of Shri Hanumanthappa that are amongst the majority and not those cowards of JNU.

Thanks Dilbu for going there and paying your respect. You are to be commended for it.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Gus » 12 Feb 2016 23:39

Regular people inherently have these feelings, despite the cloak put on them by seculars and their browbeating of people daring to throw the cloak out.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Kashi » 13 Feb 2016 04:14

Dilbu wrote:We started at 12.30 at night from Bangalore and reached Hanumanthappa's home town Betadur by 7.30 AM.
....
The whole scene was deeply emotional and draining. There were loud shouts of amara rahe still ringing out as more and more people started coming into the stadium.


Dilbuji many thanks for doing this and sharing your experience with us. Very inspiring and reassuring..

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Gagan » 13 Feb 2016 04:59

Wow Dilbu,
My heartfelt gratitude to you and your fellow travelers for this visit.

I pray that god gives solace to Hanumanthappa's family.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby arshyam » 13 Feb 2016 06:38

Thank you Dilbu saar. Could you grant permission to share on SM?

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Dilbu » 13 Feb 2016 07:06

arshyam wrote:Thank you Dilbu saar. Could you grant permission to share on SM?

Certainly sir. No need to ask.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Dilbu » 13 Feb 2016 07:46

Check out the size of crowd in the pics.
https://twitter.com/KiranKS/status/698187871363080193

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Gagan » 15 Feb 2016 07:21


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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Nitesh » 15 Feb 2016 12:02


Kakarat
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Kakarat » 15 Feb 2016 12:55

What kind of shelters do our soldiers get in Siachen?

There are a lot of shelter designs being used in arctic region like

http://www.intershelter.com/polar.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamesway_hut

If we dont have indigenous design why cant we buy these when we are buying lot of things that have indigenous equivalents

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Baikul » 15 Feb 2016 13:47

Kakarat wrote:What kind of shelters do our soldiers get in Siachen?

There are a lot of shelter designs being used in arctic region like

http://www.intershelter.com/polar.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamesway_hut

If we dont have indigenous design why cant we buy these when we are buying lot of things that have indigenous equivalents


Kakaratji, unless you can share information on (a) current Indian armed forces shelters being used in Siachen (b) How and why the shelters in your link would be more suited to conditions on Siachen and, most importantly, (c) Whether the alternates in your link would able to withstand a mountain of ice falling on top of them, any further discussion on this would be a dive down a particularly chaotic rabbit hole.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby vaibhav.n » 15 Feb 2016 15:07

IA buys shelters for use in all high altitiude areas. These can be broken down and transported as required.

One of the biggest suppliers is this subsidiary of MKU Kanpur.

FRP Shelters

The other company is prince composites.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby chetak » 15 Feb 2016 15:16

Thank you, Dilbu saar.

May your tribe increase.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 15 Feb 2016 15:33

Thanks Dilbu. May many more be like you.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SaiK » 15 Feb 2016 15:38

I'm proud of you Dilbu. You are a true brf hero.

You all know what, the only way to get better facilities for soldiers at Siachen is a crowd movement to build a huge temple.

Make it so.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby deejay » 15 Feb 2016 15:54

Even I stayed in the FRPs and this is more than 14 yrs old development. On the Glacier, after George Fernandes became RM, things improved and in most areas what the IA wants has been done. Even building a road on the hill side was tried but it was later dropped because of the difficulties.

Presently, most camps (not border posts) in NG area run along the middle of the main glacier where the kerosene pipeline is laid. Mi 17's and An 32s (probably even C130's) do para drop here. Soldiers walking up to camps follow the pipeline as far as possible. Sonam is too high for para drops and these altitudes are dependent on Dhruv and Cheetals. Posts are even smaller and helicopters going to posts are exposed to risks of enemy fire.

CG and SG posts are mostly individually maintained directly from Base Camp or Thoise without support of feeder camps.

No amount of amenities will make Glacier hospitable. IA is there to hold Indian territory. Comparisons with cold and high places of the world is an uninformed attempt to understand warfare at 6kms plus altitude. The only place in the world one can come close to this is in the Andes Mountains of South America if someone were to militarily deploy there.

High altitude, snow, cold, crevasses, high speed winds, blizzards, white outs, avalanches etc cause problems like Hypoxia, Hypothermia, HAPO, frost bite, chill blaine, snow blindness, lethargy, fatigue, etc.

Cooking food is next to impossible. Try boiling water at 06 kms. Even the thought of boiling water on Sonam makes me go :rotfl: having seen it. But believe me our SDRE Jawans are amazing. They will serve you hot tea if and when you go there. Most of them 'planesmen' living for months in places where seasoned mountaineers wouldn't spend more than couple of days.

On glacier I have seen temperatures below -40 deg C in May. Its winter there now. A food for thought - How will you take a leak ( a very basic human activity)? OK, diapers. How about dropping your pants to change diapers? Now imagine an otherwise functional Indian male with Indian sensibilities undergoing these hazards. We used to joke about these things while safely ensconced in our FRPs heated with latest Kero Heaters at 03 kms. The lowest I saw in Thoise was - 29 deg C. Wind speeds and chill was lower too.

Sorry if the end of the post sounded crude but it is a regular challenge for our Jawans and the young officer who actually stay there. Hats off to them. Many pranaams.

And Dilbu Sir, Thank you and your friend for a great gesture.

Also on the Glacier facing equal challenges are folks from SASE and IAF Met boys.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby VinodTK » 15 Feb 2016 19:00

Rajeev Shukla's viewpoint on Siachen: It speaks a lot about how Indian political leaders lack strategic knowledge
Recently I read an article in a Hindi Daily by a Congress leader Mr. Rajeev Shukla, who was a minister in Sonia Gandhi led UPA Government. Shuklaji was writing this article in sympathy of the death of brave heart L/Nk Hanumanthappa of 19 Madras who got martyred along with 9 of his colleagues defending the country at Siachen due to a snow storm.

The article was so shocking and foolish that only an Indian political leader having no knowledge about military matters can write this. What is so sad is that these netas do not want to take some advice from armed forces people who have the knowledge of the same and confuse the people of India by such writings. The points as raised by him areas follows:

• Mr. Shukla says that Siachen has no meaning for India and India is occupying Siachen Glacier forcing Pakistan also to do the same because it has become a prestige issue. He should know that it was Indira Gandhi, the then PM of India and the tallest as also the most far sighted leader of India produced by the Congress Party, who decided to occupy Siachen in April 1984. Had she not taken this decision, Pakistani army would have occupied it a few months later.
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In his article Mr. Shukla is very worried about Pakistan and its Army. He says that poor Pakistani Army in the absence of modern equipment and medical facilities, which are available with India, suffers much more than India. He feels that if India raises this issue with Pakistan they will readily agree. He should know that right from late 80s Pakistan has been asking India to withdraw from Siachen along with them. India even agreed to withdraw from Siachen, after giving so many sacrifices, during the time of VP Singh as PM but could not do so because Pakistani Army refused to accept Indian Army's rightful demand that both Armies should exchange maps with their ground positions marked on the ground and authenticated. Pakistani army does not want to do it because they are way below Siachen and they have been fooling their countrymen that they are on Siachen.

• Mr. Shukla in his article titled 'SIACHEN HADSE KA SABAK' suggests a bright solution that both the armies should withdraw from Siachen just before onset of winters when temperature touches minus 50 degree and reoccupy it after winters. During winters Indian Army should keep an eye on Siachen by use of helicopters and satellites. He does not know that in winters most of the time weather is bad at Siachen and heavy helicopters like MI-17 do not fly at 20000ft. Only single engine Cheetah helicopter can fly that also during morning hours only when weather is clear.

:
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Vipul » 15 Feb 2016 19:42

Rajeev Shukla's history is very interesting and slimy. A known opportunist and influence agent, he has many shady dealings . Check the controversy regarding a plot of prime land that was allocated to him in Mumbai supposedly for starting some charitable stuff. He has also done the aman ki tamasha BS drama many times using his position in BCCI. A Mir Jaffer wannabe given the first opportunity. Slimes like him should not be commenting on Siachen at all.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Kakarat » 15 Feb 2016 20:14

Baikul wrote:
Kakarat wrote:What kind of shelters do our soldiers get in Siachen?
.....
If we dont have indigenous design why cant we buy these when we are buying lot of things that have indigenous equivalents


Kakaratji, unless you can share information on (a) current Indian armed forces shelters being used in Siachen (b) How and why the shelters in your link would be more suited to conditions on Siachen and, most importantly, (c) Whether the alternates in your link would able to withstand a mountain of ice falling on top of them, any further discussion on this would be a dive down a particularly chaotic rabbit hole.


Sir, I am actually asking what kind of shelters do our soldiers currently get at Siachen and not complaining. I was suggesting those because they are currently being used in the arctic regions and that too only if we dont have a indigenous design

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 16 Feb 2016 05:04

Like almost 99% of Indian politicians, Rajeev Shukla can only play local political games for the sake of enjoying power. Local political games are always played without thinking about consequences because of which we have suffered enormously. As a true follower of that culture, one who cannot even look beyond that and one who is blissfully ignorant of bigger narratives, he is extrapolating the habit of playing cheap political games to Siachen as well, again without understanding and unmindful of consequences. All he needs is to score some political points and please the High Command.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SaiK » 16 Feb 2016 06:51

None from Kerala to pay respect to Siachen braveheart......

Read more at: http://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/ind ... s-1.866870
:oops: :cry: :x

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby Yugandhar » 16 Feb 2016 07:06

Baikul wrote:
SSridhar wrote:There is an op-ed in The Hindu by a JNUite Happymon Jacob who writes, "there is neither valour nor glory in death due to cerebral edema or hypothermia". What a shameful author and what a shameful newspaper. Atrocious. Link


Happymon? Happymoron more like.



I am cancelling my subscription to The Hindu newspaper.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby jayasimha » 16 Feb 2016 07:24

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/ ... 273032.ece

does any one notice that the figure of COAS image is doctered. The actual army chief must be standing behind the image ... i am sure DDM are at work again..
The same image is posted by arshyam

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby jayasimha » 16 Feb 2016 07:26

i could not relate the size of the palm to the face..

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby jayasimha » 16 Feb 2016 07:37

Baikul wrote:
SSridhar wrote:There is an op-ed in The Hindu by a JNUite Happymon Jacob who writes, "there is neither valour nor glory in death due to cerebral edema or hypothermia". What a shameful author and what a shameful newspaper. Atrocious. Link


Happymon? Happymoron more like.



According 1 info i read somewhere, this paper is now owned by some company in land of swatch and expensive chocolates...

i am also cancelling all the subscriptions...

they might be having heartburn since many soldiers passe away from madras regiment,, why 1 get such a great respect and that too from another states...

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SaiK » 16 Feb 2016 17:45

suggest: go on twitter to defame these DDMs

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby rahulm » 17 Feb 2016 07:55

To escape the Banglore sensory overload and feeling cooped up in my hotel, I went to Sankey tank from Richmond on Saturday 13 Feb. I found this prayer to LN Hanumanthappa Koppad.

Yesterday, a retired ASC chap and I drank hot tea in his honour and paid our respects to the LN. RIP Brave soldier.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 17 Feb 2016 11:58

Heart rending scenes are reported from Madurai and Vellore where the bodies of Siachen bravehearts were laid to rest yesterday.
Pranam, brave soldiers.

Siachen heroes laid to rest, residents pay moving tribute - PV Srividya, The Hindu
Image

Amidst the click-clack of the rifle stock and the barrel, and the three-shot volley, the mortal remains of Sepoy N. Ramamoorthy of Madras Regiment were laid to rest with full military honours here in his village of Gudisaadhanapalli on Tuesday. After close to a fortnight-long wait by the family, the coffin bearing the mortal remains of 28-year-old Ramamoorthy arrived at Gudisaadhanapalli at 10.45 p.m. on Monday from the Bengaluru airport.

Less than 12 hours later, the cortege–flanked by the Madras Regiment, the parent regiment of Sepoy Ramamoorthy and the Army Supply Corps, Bengaluru–was slowly led to the family’s own agricultural plot for a burial. The coffin draped in the tri-colour was opened briefly for the sepoys of the Madras Regiment to have a final glimpse of the martyr

Sunitha, the 22-year-old wife of Ramamoorthy was inconsolable as the coffin was lowered into the six-feet deep grave pit, while the father Nanje Gowdu, clenched the neatly folded tricolour that until minutes ago had adorned his son’s coffin tightly. The solemn funeral, well attended by the entire village, was punctuated by heart wrenching moments. Words failed a uniformed soldier of the Madras Regiment after he lost his composure and broke down into sobs as he embraced the grief-stricken mother of Ramamoorthy. The state government had handed over a solatium of Rs. 10 lakh to the family on Monday.

Like father, like son

A narrow lane off Arni Road twists and turns to end at a single-storey house that has been waiting for its owner’s return. It is from this house that 38-year-old M. Elumalai’s final journey began on Tuesday morning.

The mortal remains of the soldier reached his home at Adukkamparai, nearly 10 km away from the Fort City, during the early hours of the day. Relatives and villagers poured in to have a final glimpse of Havildar Elumalai and pay their respects. Havildar Elumalai was laid to rest at Adukkamparai close to 10.30 a.m. with full State and military honours.

The youngest of seven children, Elumalai was just seven years old when his father Muthu, an ex-serviceman, died. This was more than enough to inspire Elumalai to join the Army at the age of 18 years.

“He had completed Class X and wanted to join the Army like our father. He was passionate about working for the country, and at the same time, wanted to support the family,” his eldest brother M. Rajendran said.

The family hails from Melanur near Arni in Tiruvannamalai district, and Elumalai had moved to Vellore after getting married to Jamuna Rani. He had constructed a house at Adukkamparai before marriage. The couple has two sons – Kaviarasu (6) and Sri Priyadarshan (4).

Havildar Elumalai was a “highly intelligent” Non-Commissioned Officer, who had high level of initiative and was always willing to carry out any task assigned to him, a note about the Siachen martyrs from the Press Information Bureau (Defence Wing) said.

He joined the 19th Battalion of the Madras Regiment on October 28, 1996. He had displayed high degree of courage and was part of several successful small team operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and North East during nine years of field service. His ability to motivate his juniors and lead them earned him a place at the Sonam Post that required men with nerves of steel and high level of physical fitness.

He went on to obtain instructor grading in Weapon Course at Infantry School, Mhow and was posted as instructor at The Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington. Here, he trained several recruits. Prior to induction of the unit to Siachen Glacier, he was also part of the Unit Training Team. In fact, he had passed his promotion tests and was about to pick up the rank of Junior Commissioned Officer. School Education Minister K.C. Veeramani along with Collector R. Nanthagopal paid homage to the soldier. The Minister handed over the State government’s solatium of Rs. 10 lakh to his wife. Army officers and personnel were present during the soldier’s final journey.

Schoolchildren join final march


The body of Lance Havildar S. Kumar (38) was laid to rest at Kumananthozhu, his native village, with full military and state honours here on Tuesday.

The coffin was kept on the campus of government higher secondary school at the village to enable family members, relatives and villagers to pay homage. Collector N. Venkatachalam, Superintendent of Police J. Mahesh, and officers from the Army, Madras Regiment and NCC paid their respects. Director General Recruitment Brigadier Sangram Dalvi, Coimbatore Station Commander Col. Sandeep Saxena Satpathy, 44-Field Commander Lt. Col Ravichandran, Lt. Col Thomas Mathew of MRC Wellington and 11 joint commissioned officers and 60 Jawans conducted the funeral parade.

After rituals, the army men carried the body to the burial ground. School children and local people took part in the funeral procession. He was laid to rest around 10.45 a.m

with a 21-gun salute and full state and military honours. Later, the collector handed over a cheque for Rs.10 lakh to his family members. Ex-Servicemen appealed to the Centre to honour all 10 deceased army men with highest military award.

Earlier, the body was flown to Madurai from New Delhi and brought to Theni on road around 2.30 a.m. It was kept in Theni Government Medical College Hospital near Gandamanur pass till this morning as per request of the family members. Hundreds of youth, mostly friends, thronged the hospital late night to see the body. The handful of policemen at the GH struggled to control them. Doctors in the GH too paid homage to him.

Mr. Kumar joined the service while he was doing his higher secondary course. He is survived by his father Srinivasan, a small farmer, and mother Panjammal.

His wife Kavitha is working in a private school at Mayiladumparai. He has a six-year-old son Riyas.

Villagers honour their hero

The body of Lance Havildar G. Ganesan (25) was cremated with full military honours at his native village Chokkathevanpatti near Usilampatti here on Tuesday morning.

Ganesan’s body was kept near his house briefly on Tuesday morning for the local people to pay homage. Later, the body was taken by military personnel to the cremation ground in a procession in which District Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, Superintendent of Police Vijayendra S. Bidari, senior army officials and hundreds of people from Chokkathevanpatti and nearby villages joined. At the cremation ground, army personnel gave a 21-gun salute. Students from Valandur Panchayat Union Middle School, who had come for the cremation, sang a patriotic song as homage to the martyr. The villagers handed over Rs. 65,000, which they had collected, to Ganesan’s family. Similarly, the army personnel, who had collected Rs. 1.3 lakh, also handed over the money to the family.

Earlier on Thursday night, state Minister for Coperation Sellur K. Raju handed over Rs. 10 lakh to Ganesan’s family.

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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby deejay » 19 Feb 2016 10:03

I received this on WhatsApp, I am sharing it here as received:

The story of Sonam Post


Sonam Post, the site where 10 valiant soldiers of 19 MADRAS lost txheir lives in an avalanche has been thrust in the national limelight. Let me tell you how the post got its name. It was from the simple unassuming NCO who first occupied it in a breath neck race with the Pakis way back in 1984.

I was an instructor at the High Altitude Warfare School, and I vividly remember the Deputy Commandant, Brig (then Col) Pushkar Chand telling us how he and his team were tasked to occupy Siachen Glacier (Saltoro Ridge) in 1984. He was given no time to prepare because the Pakistani Special Forces were already heading to occupy it and it was a race against time and weather.

Volunteer young officers from Northern Command and from other commands were selected under High Risk Mission, because the enemy here was not only Pakistan Army but terrain and even extreme weather. They were tasked to lead detachments of troops from Ladakh Scouts, Kumaon Regiment and Special Forces to occupy the crucial positions on Saltoro Ridge before the Pakis could get there. They had limited glacier clothing and their high altitude equipment was rudimentary at best.

Troops started moving forward to reach the Saltoro Ridge fastest and earliest. The Indian Army beat the Pakistani Army to occupy the positions by a mere three days and in spite of a long arduous route the gritty young officers led the troops to the highest battle ground on earth.

Havildar Sonam was part of a patrol that had an officer as a patrol leader. While approaching the given location the patrol leader fell in to a crevasse and injured himself badly. There was no way the officer could be evacuated by helicopter. Col Pushkar ordered that patrol be split and one party should evacuate the injured officer and second under Havildar Sonam to continue towards the position it was to occupy.

Sonam a gritty Nunu (Ladakhi Soldier) led from the front and reached the designated location. He and his small band had just a few snow tents which were of no use against the blistering winds that swooped around them. He thus ordered them to dig tunnels beneath the ice to protect from wind chill factor. Yet they were soon detected and came under heavy artillery firing by the Pakistanis. The tunnels they had dug, saved them from the shelling.

Though he could not see from where the enemy fire was coming from, Sonam realized that he would have to retaliate. He along with two of his colleagues climbed to a vantage point from where he could see where the enemy fire was coming. That evening when Col Pushkar spoke to him on radio, he told him that he had seen the enemy mortar position and requested for artillery fire to engage it. The predicament was that Sonam had no clue how to control artillery fire and it took a great deal of ingenuity for him to be able to give out the enemy positions and then report the fall of shots to successfully engage the enemy position.

Sonam and his men remained at the post for over six months without relief, since whenever they would attempt to move the enemy would fire at them. But the intrepid soldiers remained there uncomplainingly, undergoing hardships that would have broken any other.

Brig Pushkar told how the name Sonam came about. When he asked Sonam what is the grid reference of his location? Sonam confided that he had no clue as to how to read the map and grid references. Brig Pushkar joked with him on radio set and told him, Sonam I am not worried if you are taken by enemy as prisoner, because you would reveal no information since you know nothing. He told him “Sonam whenever you give report you will say Sonam Post all OK”. And that was how Sonam Post got its name.

A few years later Sonam was posted to High Altitude Warfare School Gulmarg as the administrative Non Commissioned Officer in charge of the student officer’s mess. I as a young officer was the Mess Secretary. Every month there would be losses since poor Sonam knew nothing about managing a mess, or of accounting and budgeting. Fed up with continual losses, I complained to Brig Pushkar to remove him and was told to get him to his office.

Yet, when Sonam entered Brig Pushkar’s office, I was surprised to see what happened. Brig Pushkar got up from his chair and hugged him like a long lost friend. He forgot why he asked Sonam to come to his office and he asked him that did he know that he was the Deputy Commandant of HAWS? He further scolded him, why he did not come to meet him? Sonam smiled and did not utter a word. Then he told me about Sonam’s role in helping secure Sonam Post way back in 1984 and my own anger turned into respect.

The same very evening I went to the mess and called all student officers. There I introduced this unknown hero to them and asked them to interact with him and understand the practical part of soldiering in extreme weather and terrain conditions. Every student officer rose after I finished introducing Sonam to them and came forward to shake hands with a true soldier.

Later I would often see young officers surrounding Sonam and hearing his experience of Siachen. He would often say, “Sahib Lama Guru ke Land Main Gama Nahin Banna”. Being an instructor in High Altitude Warfare School you are supposed to be class apart and best in business in the world. I was an arrogant professional, but one day while training on glacier, Sonam saw me rushing up the ice wall during a demonstration. After the demonstration when I was sipping tea, “Sonam walked up to me and told me that, “Sahib don’t show your speed on ice wall, it does not give you second chance and it also does not give you time to recover. Therefore, be like an Ibex, sure footed”. It was a lifelong lesson that saved me from committing hara-kiri someday.

Later, it was decided to put up his portrait (dressed in full mountaineer gear) in the officer’s mess. When this ceremony was organised the entire staff and officers including families were present. And there was this short stocky man, standing between the Commandant and Deputy Commandant, receiving perhaps the only recognition for his achievements. A simple photograph in the Officers Mess to honour his deeds.

There are so many Sonams, who have done their duty selflessly at these forbidding heights. The ten Thambi’s of 19 MADRAS who laid down their lives on the post were also like him, simple men soldiering on selflessly in unimaginable hardships. Perhaps the avalanche that swamped Sonam Post helped rouse the national consciousness of the conditions our soldiers undergo to preserve the national integrity. There are thousands like Sonam and Hanumantappa and nameless others who merely do their duty without reward or recognition. This piece is just a small salute to them all.

About the Author

Brig Narender Kumar (Retd.) Senior Fellow, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi.

RajD
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby RajD » 19 Feb 2016 11:46

Dear sirs,
A noob pooch.
In the photo of the martyrs posted by @ arshyamji along with the story only Mr. Suryavanshi is designated as a soldier.
Others, apart from Lance Naik are designated as sepoy. Could any guru please tell me the difference between the two?

mody
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Re: Siachen News & Discussion

Postby mody » 19 Feb 2016 12:32

Is there a military solution to the Siachen conflict?
We all know that IA occupies the dominating heights of Saltoro Ridge and we also control the Sia La and Bilafondla passes. Gyong La pass is controlled by Pakistan.

Is there anyway we can use of our supposed military advantage on Saltoro ridge to force the pakis to abandon their posts or capture Gyong La and then go further to render Gyari unsustainable?

This is something that has never been discussed before. All that our dominating positions on Saltoro ridge have given us, is a deterrent and a defensive position against paki advance. It also does not deter pakis from doing things Kargil.

The approach to Saltoro ridge from baltistan is much easier then from our side and hence completely dislodging the pakis is difficult, unless we take over all of Baltistan. However, if we can push the pakis back and force them to abandon most of the posts on the western face of the Saltoro ridge, we will also be able to reduce the number of posts that we occupy and man.


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