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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Duty first: 2 army officers on leave pitch in for Uttarakhand rescue

PTI  Srinagar, June 25, 2013
First Published: 12:33 IST(25/6/2013) | Last Updated: 13:46 IST(25/6/2013)

For the “men in olive green” known for making supreme sacrifices in the line of duty, their sense of service and courage prevails at all times.

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Major Mahesh Karki and Capt Amit Kumar, both residents of Uttarakhand and at present posted in Jammu and Kashmir, were on leave when floods hit Uttarakhand on June 15, yet they went out of their way to help the stranded people.

Major Karki of the Gorkha Rifles was driving from Dehradun to Badrinath with his wife, two children and mother-in-law in his SUV when they got caught in the heavy rains at Karnaprayag.

They still went ahead and reached Joshimath the next evening, where, they found the road had collapsed and were told to turn back, a defence spokesman said here.

“The officer had two choices: either return and drive himself and his family to safety or do something for the 25 people, who were stuck on the other side of the road,” the spokesman said.

Major Karki chose to rescue the stranded people, asking his wife to wait with the rest of the family, added the spokesman.

“I just could not hold myself back,” Karki was quoted as saying by the spokesman.

The young officer braved the ravaged stretch and drove his SUV to fetch the stranded people, four at a time.

Carrying more than four persons in such bad weather was risky. He brought all of them to safety at a point near Govindghat from where the Army took over.

Meanwhile, Capt Kumar of 14 Garhwal, volunteered for rescue mission, when he could have remained in the comfort of his home and enjoyed his leave.

After taking permission from his Commanding Officer, he flew to Kedarnath in an Air Force helicopter on June 21 and went to rescue people stranded at Kedarnath.

He saved lives, provided comfort and more importantly, extended moral support to those in need.

That was not all: after the rescue mission at Kedarnath was complete, he flew to Gaurikund where he is tirelessly working to save more lives.

“I am a soldier working in Kashmir. This act of mine is dedicated to Uttarakhand on behalf of Kashmir,” said Capt officer on the phone.


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