Antony appreciates armed forces for U`khand relief
New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony has appreciated the armed forces for its relief and rescue operations in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand where the remaining stranded pilgrims in Badrinath was evacuated on Tuesday.
Antony has written letters of appreciation to the armed forces including the Army, the Border Roads Organisation, the Directorate General of Armed Forces Medical Services (DG, AFMS), the Navy and the IAF for their role in the relief operations, Ministry officials said here.
In a rare gesture, Antony had also written letters to the families of the five IAF personnel who lost lives along with 15 paramilitary personnel in an air crash on June 23.
Wing Commander Daryll Castellino, Flight Lieutenants T Kapoor and K Praveen, Junior Warrant Officer AK Singh and Sergeant Sudhakar Yadav were killed in the Mi-17V5 chopper crash.
Meanwhile, the IAF said it has evacuated the pilgrims stranded in Badrinath and now if asked to, work to evacuate 1,000 locals from the area.
The IAF has still kept around 10 helicopters and a Task Force Commander for overlooking the remaining evacuation process, if any need arises.
The Army has also maintained 8,000 troops in the region along with its 12 Cheetah/Chetak and ALH Dhruv choppers.
The two forces together flew 2,957 sorties and have rescued over 57,000 personnel stranded in the higher reaches of the state after the flash-floods.
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