The body of an Indian Army Havaldar has been recovered from Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir, 18 years after he was reported missing from the world's highest battlefield.
Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag today paid homage to the "well preserved" body of Havaldar Gaya Prasad which was buried in ice at the Glacier, where temperatures drop to minus 60.
Prasad, a native of Mainpuri district in Uttar Pradesh, had gone missing while on duty on Siachen Glacier in 1996 and his body was recovered only last week, an Army official said.
His mortal remains will now be transported by road to his native village of Kurlia under Kishni police station area in the district, where the last rites will be performed tomorrow.
The Havaldar of 15 Rajput unit was declared 'Missing Dead' 18 years ago while serving at Khanda Post in Siachen (Northern Glacier).
As per the records available with the Army, he was collecting stores dropped by helicopter at Khanda Dropping Zone, when he fell into a crevasse on December 9, 1996.
"All attempts to rescue him could not succeed despite sustained efforts over three days," an Army release said.
The body was recovered by a unit deployed in the area after it had partially surfaced and was identified as that of Prasad.
He is survived by his father, Subedar(Rtd) Gajadhar Singh, wife Rama Devi, one son and two daughters.