Soldier who died in Siachen 38 years ago laid to rest with full military honours
Lance Naik Chandrashekhar Harbola, who joined the Kumaon Regiment in 1971, was part of a five-member patrol on Siachen Glacier when an avalanche hit it in May 1984. His skeletal remains were found on Saturday
HALDWANI: Lance Naik Chandrashekhar Harbola, the soldier whose body was found in a bunker 38 years after he went missing on the Siachen Glacier, was cremated with full military honours at Haldwani in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district on Wednesday.
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, sainik welfare minister Ganesh Joshi and women empowerment minister Rekha Arya met his wife, Shanti Devi, 63, to convey their condolences and pay homage to the soldier before the last rites.
Dhami said the people will always remember Chandrashekhar’s supreme sacrifice. “Sainik Dham is being established in the memory of the soldiers of Uttarakhand who made sacrifices for the country. The memories of the martyr Chandrashekhar will also be preserved in the Sainik Dham,” he said.
As Lance Naik Harbola’s mortal remains were brought home on Wednesday, the entire area resonated with patriotic slogans.
After his family and others paid their last respect, Lance Naik Harbola’s mortal remains were taken to Chitrashila Ghat, Ranibagh, for cremation.
Back in 1984, Harbola’s regiment, 19 Kumaon, was part of India’s pre-emptive action to stop Pakistan from capturing strategic areas in the glacier as part of Operation Meghdoot.
He was part of a five-member team of soldiers patrolling the area when it was caught in a snow avalanche on 29 May 1984. Neither his nor the bodies of the other four could be found.
His daughter Kavita, who was eight when her father died, said they had lost all hopes of her father’s body being found. “But at least we will get solace now and closure of sorts after conducting his last rites,” she said on Tuesday.
Lance Naik Chandrashekhar Harbola originally hailed from Binta village in Ranikhet area of Almora district. In 1971, he joined Kumaon Regiment in Ranikhet.
Sainik welfare minister Ganesh Joshi said that the government is standing shoulder to shoulder with the soldier’s family. The government will extend all possible help to the bereaved family, he said.