SRINAGAR: When the state and army did not respond to his calls for help, a soldier trekked a snow-covered, avalanche-prone route for 10 hours to carry his mother’s body to his native place in Karnah.
The video of the men carrying body on a makeshift coffin through the treacherous route has gone viral on social networking sites.
In the video, the mourners are desperately calling for help and at the same time accusing the government of callousness.
Sakina Begum, mother of Mohammad Abbas, who is a soldier currently posted at the Pathankot army base, reportedly died of cardiac arrest on the intervening night of January 27 and 28 in Pathankot.
Since then, Abbas had appealed for a chopper lift to carry her body home.
Amid bad weather conditions, Sakina’s body was stuck in Rangwar village of Baramulla district for four days. As no help came from any quarter, the family had to make the trek through the dangerous, snow-covered Sadhna pass.
The villagers began helping the mourners by clearing off snow and making a passage for their journey. Abbas had to trek a distance of nearly 50 km for 10 hours before he could make it home. The snow, at most places, was six feet deep and is prone to avalanches.
As many as 20 soldiers died in the region due to snow avalanches recently.
The family claimed the district administration had promised a helicopter would be arranged to take them home. But, they had to tow the dead body all along the way till the rites were finally performed last night.
Earlier, the residents have expressed severe hardships due to the accumulation of snow in the area snapping all communication with many villages in the border region.
An army spokesperson, however, refuted the reports that army did not help the soldier, stating “all assistance for the transportation of mortal remains of the jawan’s mother, keeping the snow conditions in mind, was made available by the unit of Jawan as well as other army units en route.”