New Delhi: As a mark of respect to the brave soldier who died on Thursday after surviving six days buried beneath snow in Siachen, Union Finance Ministry made a picture of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad as its cover photo on its twitter handle.
The picture was of Koppad was put as the cover photo of Finance Ministry's official twitter handle - @FinMinIndia - with snow-covered Siachen glacier as the backdrop.
A caption with the picture said - "Nation salutes you".
Siachen braveheart Hanumanthappa died today due to multiple organ failure, after waging a grim battle for life for nine days.
The end for the doughty soldier came a little before noon, three days after he was miraculously pulled out alive from under 30 feet of ice-and-snow debris where he lay buried for six days on the unforgiving Siachen glacier.
"Lance Naik Hanamanthappa is no more. He breathed his last at 11:45 AM today," the Army Research and Referral Hospital said.
As an indebted nation's prayers for his life ended in vain, glowing tributes poured in for the 33-year-old soldier.
"The soldier in you remains immortal," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he led the nation in mourning his death.
"He leaves us sad and devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India," he tweeted.
Koppad's mortal remains were kept at the Brar Square where Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the three service chiefs, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and a host of military officers among others paid homage by placing wreaths at a solemn ceremony.
Koppad's family, including his wife Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal, sat in stoic silence through the sombre proceedings with wails of their two-year-old daughter Netra piercing the silence.
Defence Ministry officials said Koppad's remains will be flown to Karnataka tonight and cremation would take place in Hubli tomorrow before sunset.
A resident of village Betadur in Dharwad district of Karnataka, Koppad had joined the army 13 years back.
Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had tweeted in a condolence message - "Saddened to know that Lance Naik Hanumanthappa our brave soldier is no more. May God give his family the strength to bear this great loss".
Saddened to know that L/Nk Hanumanthappa our brave soldier is no more. May God give his family the strength to bear this great loss.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 11, 2016
(With PTI inputs)