— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) February 12, 2016
The Indian soldier who made international headlines earlier this week after he survived six days buried in a Himalayan avalanche died Thursday, according to military officials.
According to the statement from the Indian Army, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa died around noon on Thursday in Delhi as the result of multiple organ failure.
“Lance Naik Hanumanthappa is no more,” an army official said. “He breathed his last breath at 11.45 a.m. today."
Hanumanthappa was the only one of 10 soldiers to survive last week's avalanche at the Siachen Glacier. He was retrieved from underneath 25 feet of snow Monday alive but in critical condition.
The story of his survival on the Siachen Glacier captivated the nation, and he was praised as a hero for his willingness to fight against India’s adversarial neighbor, Pakistan, on the hotly contested stretch of mountain land that has long been known as the “world’s highest battleground.”
As such, the news of his death was followed by thousands of supporters flooding the streets to mourn his departure and pay their final respects to the soldier:
Live Visuals: Nation mourns Lance Naik Hanamanthappa in Hubli, Karnataka. Huge crowds pay homage. https://t.co/383WGPGyB9
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 12, 2016
Even India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to praise Hanumanthappa, calling him a “martyr.”
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
In the wake of Hanumanthappa’s saga, the country’s attention is now turned to the welfare of the soldiers deployed on the glacier. According to The Hindu, Pakistan has indicated that it is willing to consider an early demilitarization of the area.
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