Body of Indian Army jawan missing since January found near LoC

The Army officer was identified as Havaldar Rajendra Singh Negi. He was 36

Havaldar Rajendra Singh Negi had gone missing in January this year after accidentally falling into heavy snow. Representational image: PTI

The body of an Indian Army officer, who had been missing since January, was found on Saturday (August 15) near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.

The Army officer was identified as Havaldar Rajendra Singh Negi. He was 36.

His family was informed about it after recovering his body that night.

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Negi, who was working with the Indian Army’s 11 Garhwal Rifles, had gone missing in January this year after accidentally falling into heavy snow while on duty near the LoC in Kashmir’s Gulmarg area.

The Army had declared him a ‘martyr’ in June after not finding his body and informed his family about the same through a letter on June 21. However, his wife Rajeshwari Devi had refused to accept it, saying she would not do so until she “saw his body with her own eyes”.

Negi’s Army unit informed his family members about finding his body on Saturday (August 15), on the occasion of Independence Day.

Negi’s uncle Raghuveer Singh Negi, who received the call from the army unit, told Hindustan Times, “I received the call about the tragic news from his unit on Saturday late evening. They said his body was found under heavy snow during the search operation.”

“They also informed that Negi’s body has been taken to the military hospital in Srinagar, Kashmir, where doctors are conducting the mandatory medical procedures before handing it to us,” Raghuveer added.

He said that earlier, the Army authorities informed that the body will reach Dehradun by Sunday evening, but later said it may take “two to three days”.

“They said, as the body had been under the snow all this while, it may be damaged if it’s suddenly exposed to outer elements. Hence, the doctors would be carrying out some medical process after which it will reach us by August 19,” Hindustan Times quoted Raghuveer as saying.

Initially, Negi was feared to have slipped towards the Pakistani side across the LoC after being reported missing on January 8, but it was later denied by the Indian army authorities.

Negi, who had joined the army in 2001, hailed from Chamoli district, 147 km from Dehradun, and is survived by his wife and three children. He had shifted to Dehradun about three years ago with his family while his parents still live in their village in Chamoli.

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