Updated: November 1, 2021 9:02:39 pm
The wife of a Naval officer, who has been missing since October 1 while on an expedition to Mount Trishul in Uttarakhand, has demanded that the search operation for locating her husband and a porter should continue and not be called off till the next season as has been intimated to her by the Navy.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Shubhani Tewari, wife of Lt Cdr Shashank Tewari, said she was told that search operations had been discontinued since October 16 due to inclement weather and the winter season. Five Naval personnel and a porter had gone missing in the avalanche on October 1. While four bodies were found by search teams, one officer and the porter are still missing.
“My husband is a soldier and highly trained mountaineer who has summited Mount Everest in 2017 and various other peaks in India. He has brought many laurels to the Indian Navy. Yet, I am the one who has to call the authorities to find out what is happening,” said Shubhani.
She said her husband was commissioned in the Indian Navy in December 2013 and had been decorated with the Nausena Medal. “My husband left for the expedition on September 12 and said he will be back by October 10. The avalanche occurred on Oct 1 when the naval team was about to summit the Trishul. The search team from High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS), Garhwal Scouts and Dogra Scouts has been de-inducted. I have learned that winter expeditions have also been taking place on Mount Trishul. If the weather allows, the search should continue,” said Shubhani.
Lt Commander Shashank is the only child of his parents who belong to Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. “Parents of my husband and I are going through a lot right now. Our physical and mental health are at the lowest. We request you to support us in these hard times. My husband deserves way better than this from the country. I have also written a letter to the Commanding Officer of my husband with copies to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, but I have got no reply,” she added.
The Indian Express tried to ascertain the comments of the Naval spokesperson in the Ministry of Defence on the points raised by the wife of Lt Commander Tewari, but there was no response to the phone call or text message. However, on October 5, the spokesperson of the Navy had tweeted, “Search efforts continue to locate the fifth Naval climber & one Sherpa. Aerial search by helos & ground teams comprising #IndianArmy personnel from High Altitude Warfare School & #IndianNavy mountaineering team recommenced early morning today.”
Shubhani said some gloves were found near the site where her husband was last seen and that she had requested the Navy to send her photographs of the same so that she could identify them. However, she is yet to get the photographs, Shubhani added. “I have also been asking for photographs of ground operations, but I have only been provided some photos of the aerial survey,” she pointed out.
Shubhani, who belongs to Ambala in Haryana, married Shashank in December 2018 and the two were based in Mumbai, where the officer was posted, before moving to New Delhi.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.