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Siachen: 879 soldier deaths and counting

The ten Indian soldiers, who died in an avalanche, became the latest addition to a growing list of casualties suffered by the Army in Siachen.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 11, 2016 7:38 pm
lance naik hanumanthappa, siachen avalanche, siachen deaths The ten Indian soldiers, who died in an avalanche, became the latest addition to a growing list of casualties suffered by the Army in Siachen.

The tragic passing away of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa on Thursday morning brought the death toll in the Siachen avalanche to ten. The Indian soldiers, who were buried under mounds of snow, became the latest addition to a growing list of casualties suffered by the Army in Siachen.

As of December 11, 2015, weather-related casualties in Siachen stood at 869, including 33 officers and 54 junior commissioned officers, and Rs 7,504.99 crore was spent on military operations in the last four years alone. In comparison, the Pakistan army, which operates at much lower altitudes, lost 213 soldiers in Siachen between 2003-10. In 2012 alone, 130 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an avalanche.

Explained: The Miraculous Rescue Of The Siachen Soldier

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* Expenditure calculated in crores ** data for 2015 upto 30th November

The Siachen glacier, where temperatures dip to as low as – 45 degree celsius, is the world’s highest and toughest battle field. Standing at 5,400 metres in height, its terrain is inhospitable for humans to stay over extended periods of time.

Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, in a written reply in Lok Sabha last year, said that the government has undertaken measures to ensure that soldiers serving in Siachen received the best available equipment. He said that the Defence Ministry has set up a Empowered Committee to fast-track orders for clothing and equipment required by the soldiers deployed in Siachen. Rao also revealed that the Indian Army procures 20 out of the 55 clothing and mountaineering equipment from abroad.

The recent deaths on the Indian sides has once again renewed calls for an unilateral ceasefire and deescalation of troops in Siachen. However, the strategic advantage of positioning troops on the highest levels of the Siachen glacier has forced successive administrations on both sides of the border to tread with caution.

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  1. R
    Feb 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm
    Can we not just launch a full scale invasion of PoK and end this nonsense? I get that govt may not want to embroil itself in a costly and time-consuming war when there are so many other issues facing the country, but this will not end unless we act. The outcome of war, we already know, we have beaten them multiple times and we will do it again. But its time to end it. No point drawing our maps showing PoK as a part of India when the reality is different.
    1. Naveed Iftikhar
      Nov 15, 2017 at 10:40 am
      Remember Kargil where you lost 1711 soldiers.
    2. S
      Feb 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm
      Well! It was India who started each and every "Evil" and Militarization and Arms Race in south asia. stanis have to maintain a deterrent which of course cost a lot to Tax payer on both sides. Its Indian "expansion craze" which never allow them to think positive. India always bullied and Arm Twisted smaller countries around it. Like Bhutan,Bangladesh,Srilanka,Nepal,Burma etc. While with stan has to do effot to get a power balance. Lets see til when World Powers keep on playing both Countries. And Hindu Extremism keep on growing and growing in India.
      1. N
        Feb 11, 2016 at 9:17 am
        Extreme COLD condition due to ICE DEPOSITION and Avalanche is very much common in SIACHIN, Army , Defence should consider this Fact and should take proper care of their JAWANS , otherwise every year thappa , THAPA, Veer etc etc will Die one by one . Naagu
        1. T
          t d
          Feb 12, 2016 at 3:12 am
          The Nation's duty by our Armed Forces at such high alude places where the temperatures always will be minus 20 to 40 Degree Celsius itself is difficult to digest. The brave soldier Lance Naik thappa who was under the thick blanket of Snow for about 6 days and rescued there after and despite best efforts of Doctors at Army Referral Hospital Delhi left this World. I salute this brave Soldier and express my deep condolences to the bereaved family members of the departed soul and further pray that his soul may rest in peace. I also salute all those brave jawans who lost their lives in the disaster. I also urge the Government to extend full support to the families of all those Jawans who were buried under the snow due to the disastrous mishap over there. I pray the God to to give enough courage to all those families of our Jawans.
          1. B
            Feb 11, 2016 at 9:15 am
            Isn't it time that India liberate PoK ?
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