Colonel ‘Bull’ Kumar, who helped secure Siachen Glacier, dies at 87

India was thus able to prevent the Pakistani attempt to occupy the Saltoro range… Hi !: Former army chief, General VP Malik

Colonel Narinder ‘Bull’ Kumar (retired), who was instrumental in the military launching Operation Meghdoot and securing the dominant heights of the Siachen Glacier in 1984, died Thursday in hospital in Army research and reference (R&R). He was 87 years old and suffered from age-related illnesses.

“First to report Pakistani misdeeds in Siachen by sending patrols and mountaineering expeditions to the glacier region. India was thus able to prevent the Pakistani attempt to occupy the Saltoro channel… Hi! Former Army Chief Gen. VP Malik said on Twitter.

It was on the basis of reconnaissance reports of his expeditions to the Siachen Glacier and the Saltoro Range as commander of the “High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS)” that the army launched “Op Meghdoot” in 1984, narrowly anticipating Pakistan’s attempts in the process. .

On April 13, 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot to capture the 76.4 km glacier on the Saltoro Ridge. A platoon of 4 Kumaon led by then-captain Sanjay Kulkarni planted the Indian flag in Bilafond La. The operation on the world’s highest battlefield continues to this day, making it the most long continuous operation of this type in the world.

Colonel Kumar was commissioned from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun in the Kumoan regiment in 1953. An avid mountaineer, he was the first Indian to climb Mt. Nanda Devi. He climbed Mt. Everest in 1965, Mt. Blanc (the highest peak in the Alps) and later Mt. Kangchenchanga from the hardest northeast spur. He has climbed all of those peaks despite losing four toes to frost on previous expeditions, an army officer said. In 1981, as a member of the Antarctic Task Force, he played an exceptional role, he said.

Colonel Kumar received Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honor, in 1965. He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva (PVSM), Kirti Chakra and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM). He is also the recipient of the Mac Gregor Medal awarded to personnel of the armed forces for their valuable military recognition. The battalion’s headquarters on the glacier nearly 16,000 feet above sea level is named “Kumar’s post” in his honor.

Colonel Kumar is survived by his wife and daughter Shailaja.

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