The Indian Army is likely to seek the assistance of the Pakistani Army to recover the body of an armoured corps officer who is feared to have drowned in the Chenab in Akhnoor near Jammu late on Thursday night.
Major D S Bhinder, a Squadron Commander in the 18 Cavalry regiment stationed in Akhnoor is feared to have been washed away when he was out on a stroll by the river along with another officer of the regiment.
While details of the incident are still not clear, the Army has said that search operations are still being carried out, but no body has yet been recovered.
“An officer of the Army has drowned in Chenab river accidentally. Rescue operations are on, but the body has not been located so far. More details about the incident are being sought,” a senior officer at Army Headquarters said.
The officer who was accompanying Maj. Bhinder immediately informed his superior officers including the Commanding Officer of the regiment about the incident. A court of inquiry has been ordered by Headquarters, 10 Infantry Division, to ascertain the facts.
Though the Army has not contacted the Pakistani side yet, sources said that in case the body was not recovered soon, assistance of troops across the border would be sought. The location of the incident is very close to the India-Pakistan border, and the Chenab flows swiftly into Pakistan at Akhnoor.
Communication mechanisms exist between the two armies in the northern sector to coordinate in case of such incidents. Similar requests for help have been honoured by both sides in the past, most notably during the 2005 earthquake.