Was aware of the risk of Siachen glacier avalanche: Manohar Parrikar | india | Hindustan Times
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Was aware of the risk of Siachen glacier avalanche: Manohar Parrikar

india Updated: Feb 15, 2016 21:14 IST
Siachen glacier avalanche

Union defence minister Manohar Parrikar during the Make In India Week in Mumbai on Monday. (PTI)

The defence ministry was aware of the possible risk of avalanche at Siachen glacier but not of the exact location where the snow slide struck, the defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday. The Siachen avalanche killed ten soldiers earlier this month, including the last survivor Lance Naik Hanmanthappa Koppad.

“We had the information about the risk of avalanche in Siachen glacier. However, this information was not meant for this particular place (where the disaster occurred),” Parrikar said while addressing media on the sidelines of ‘Make In India’ event in Mumbai.

Ten soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO) of Madras Regiment, were trapped under tonnes of snow after their post was hit by avalanche at the altitude of 19,000 feet close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan on February 3.

While all of them were confirmed dead earlier, the rescuers found Koppad alive under snow after six days. However, he died on February 11.

“Still, I am personally monitoring each and every case relating to the battle casualty on monthly basis so as to ensure that the families of the victims get all the relief in time,” Parrikar said.

Replying to a query on the report of supply of F-16 planes by the US to Pakistan, the minister said, “Only a notification for the proposed supply of F-16 planes to Pakistan is issued by the US Congress. However, we have already raised an objection to the US’ move on the issue”.

India had already conveyed its “displeasure and disappointment” over the Obama administration’s decision to sell eight F-16 jets to Pakistan worth nearly $700 million.