Delhi: Leaving a billion hearts saddened Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad lost the battle with death on Thursday, three days after he was miraculously rescued alive from beneath tonnes of snow following an avalanche that hit his post in Siachen Glacier at an height of 19,600 feet.
33-year-old Hanumanthappa of the 19th Battalion of Madras Regiment, who is survived by his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal and two-year-old daughter Netra Koppad, breathed his last at 11:45 am today, as per the Indian Army.
The mortal remains of the Lance Naik was brought to Brar Square, Delhi where wreath laying ceremony took place and all three Service Chiefs, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, MoS Defence Rao Inderjit Singh and a host of other politicians paid their last respects.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal were among those who paid their last respects to the Lance Naik.
Parrikar also met Hanumanthappa's family members at Brar Square.
The condition of Koppad, who was admitted to Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi on February 9, had deteriorated yesterday.
Today the whole nation, including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, joined in to mourn the passing away of the Army soldier.
"I am deeply sad to learn about the passing away of your son, Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Lance Naik Koppad was a hero who demonstrated exemplary will power and courage in the face of adversity," President Mukherjee said in his message to the Lance Naik's mother Basamma Koppad.
The PM posted on Twitter:
He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 11, 2016
Parrikar wrote the following:
Condolences to family of L/Nk Hanumanthappa on his passing away. The Nation salutes him.
— Manohar Parrikar (@manoharparrikar) February 11, 2016
Dubbed as the 'miracle man', the soldier had managed to stay alive for six days buried under the snow after an avalanche struck their post on February 3.
His condition was reviewed by a team of doctors comprising critical care specialists, the HoD Dept of Medicine, a senior nephrologist, a senior neurologist of the army hospital and a panel of experts from AIIMS yesterday.
A resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad had joined the army 13 years back.
His last rites will take place tomorrow in his home town in Dharwar (Karnataka).
(With Agency inputs)