Body of Army Jawan missing since 38 years found in Siachen

The body of an army jawan who had been missing since 1984 was finally found after 38 years in a bunker in Siachen Glacier on August 13, 2022.

The Sainik Group Center in Ranikhet confirmed on August 14, 2022 that the body was that of Lance Naik Chhandrasekhar Harbola of 19 Kumaon Regiment. According to the Indian Army, Chandrashekhar’s body was identified from the identification-disc found on his body. Earlier soldiers were given a small special metal disc on which their army number was written. This number was then matched with the army’s record. This was the process through which the body could be identified.

Harbola had been dispatched to Siachen, which is known as the “world’s highest battlefield”, for “Operation Meghdoot” against Pakistan in 1984. He was a part of a 20-member troop that was caught in an ice storm while patrolling.

Of the 20 member team, the bodies of 15 soldiers had been recovered while that of five more could not be found. Harbola was one of those five missing members.

On the eve of Independence Day, senior army officers of the Leh-based Corps paid tribute to the body. Arrangements will be made for the body of Chandrashekhar to be sent to Haldwani, Uttarakhand to his family.

Haldwani sub-collector Manish Kumar and tehsildar Sanjay Kumar, who reached Harbola’s house, assured that his last rites will be performed with full military honours.

He is survived by his wife, Shanti Devi as well as two daughters.

Shanti Devi said that at the time he went missing, they had been married for nine years and she was 28 years old. Shanti Devi said Harbola had last been home in January 1984, during which he had promised to return soon. However, Shanti Devi said she was proud of her husband as he prioritised his service towards the country over the promises made to the family.

Harbola, a resident of Dwarahat in Almora, had enlisted in the army in 1975.

According to reports, the body of another soldier was found as well but the identity is yet to be ascertained.

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