Body of Andhra soldier, killed in Siachen, reaches home

Hyderabad, Feb 15 (IANS) The body of Sepoy Mushtaq Ahmed, who was among the 10 soldiers killed in an avalanche on Siachen glacier, was flown to Hyderabad on Monday and was later taken to his native village in Andhra Pradesh.

The mortal remains of the soldier were kept at the old airport of Begumpet here for some time after it was brought by a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force from New Delhi.

Top military and civil officials and leaders of various political parties laid wreaths and paid their last respects.

The body was later taken to his native Parnapalle village in Atmakur mandal of Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh. The last rites with military honours will be performed on Tuesday.

Mushtaq is survived by his wife and a son.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday enhanced ex-gratia for the soldier’s family to Rs.25 lakh, from Rs.5 lakh announced earlier.

The decision was taken at the state cabinet meeting in Vijayawada. The cabinet paid rich tributes to the soldier.

It was also decided to provide a job to a member of Mushtaq’s family.

Earlier, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had announced Rs.5 lakh for the family. He had also announced that the family will be allotted a house.

Nine soldiers were killed when an avalanche hit the army’s Sonam post at Siachen on February 3. Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, who was rescued alive after being buried under snow for six days, died on February 11 in an army hospital in Delhi.

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