The man who helped secure Siachen for India dies
Lieutenant general Prem Nath Hoon (retd), under whose leadership the army secured the Siachen glacier in 1984, died in Panchkula on Monday after a stroke. He was 90.
Hoon was the head of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps when the army launched Operation Meghdoot in April 1984, the first assault to take control of strategic heights on Siachen, a 76-km river of slow-moving ice.
India deployed its soldiers at Siachen after Pakistan began allowing international mountaineering expeditions to the glacier, sending out a signal that it controlled the area.
Hoon retired as the Western Command chief in 1987. Commissioned into the Sikh regiment two years after Partition, he also served as the director general of military operations. Hoon joined the Shiv Sena two decades ago, and later the BJP in 2013.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to highlight Hoon’s contribution to the country.
“Extremely saddened by the passing away of Lt Gen PN Hoon (retd). He served India with utmost dedication and contributed significantly towards making our nation stronger and more secure. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour. Om Shanti,” the PM tweeted.
Born in 1929 at Abbottabad in Pakistan, Hoon joined the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, in 1947.
“I was sure about what I wanted and went ahead to achieve it,” the general told HT last June.
Lieutenant General KJ Singh (retd), a former chief of Western Command, recalled Hoon’s contribution in securing the Siachen glacier.
“He had anchored Operation Meghdoot, wherein Indian Army pre-empted and prevented Pakistan’s attempts to annex the Siachen. In his loss, we have lost a veteran, who was a role model for the young generation,” he said, adding that Hoon was involved in activities relating to national integration and veteran welfare.
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