Missing for 8 months, army jawan’s body found buried under snow near LoC
The body of an Indian army jawan, missing since January, was found on Saturday near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. Havaldar Rajendra Singh Negi’s family was subsequently informed about it later that night. He was 36.
Negi, who was attached to Indian Army’s 11 Garhwal Rifles, had gone missing in January this year after accidentally slipping into heavy snow while on duty near LoC in Gulmarg area of Kashmir.
Failing to find his body, the army had declared him a ‘martyr’ in June and communicated the same to his family in a letter on June 21. However, his wife Rajeshwari Devi had refused to accept him as a martyr saying she won’t do so until she “sees his body with her own eyes”.
On Saturday, on the occasion of Independence Day, Negi’s army unit informed his family members about finding his body.
Negi’s uncle Raghuveer Singh Negi, who received the call from the army unit, said, “I received the call about the tragic news from his unit on Saturday late evening. They said that his body was found under heavy snow during the search operation.”
“They also informed that Negi’s body has been taken to the military hospital in Srinagar, Kashmir, where doctors are conducting the mandatory medical procedures before handing it to us,” said Raghuveer.
He said earlier the army authorities informed that the body will reach Dehradun by Sunday evening, but later said it may take ‘two to three days’.
“They said, as the body had been under the snow all this while, it may be damaged if it’s suddenly exposed to outer elements. Hence, the doctors would be carrying out some medical process after which it will reach us by August 19,” said Raghuveer.
Initially, Negi was feared to have slipped towards the Pakistani side across the LoC after being reported missing on January 8, but later it was denied by the Indian army authorities.
Negi, who had joined the army in 2001, hailed from Chamoli district, 147 km from Dehradun, and is survived by his wife and three children. He had shifted to Dehradun about three years ago with his family while his parents still live in their village in Chamoli. His parents would reach Dehradun by Monday.