Muhammad Abbas Khan, a soldier serving the Indian Army became restive when his mother’s dead body was not reaching home for burial. When officials turned down his plea for providing the transportation, citing bad weather conditions, his fidgety forced him to carry his mother’s body on his shoulders and walk to his home, braving inclement weather conditions that had caused closure of all the routes to his native Karnah in frontier Kupwara district.

Abbas is posted at Pathankot and he had brought his mother, to stay with him at his official quarters, to avoid the Kashmir’s biting cold weather and the detachment his village suffers during this time. But his mother passed away on January 28, after cardiac arrest.

The next morning, this soldier drove his dead mother to Srinagar to further go to Karnah. However, the only road to Karnah had been disconnected after a heavy snowfall that Kupwara district administration hadn’t been able to clear.

He pleaded before his seniors for airlifting his mother’s coffin and they promised to do the same on Thursday, February 2, but failed.

Abbas kept his mother in army barrack for three days, hoping that the snow would be cleared or they will be airlifted to home.

When no help was lined, he went to Drangyari in Kupwara, again reaching out to army and local administration to help fly his mother to Chitrakote, 52 kms away. His pleas were turned down again. He was stuck at Drangyari in sub-zero temperature. Some locals gave some food and provided shelter to him.

Then Abbas, along with a few of his relatives who had joined him in Kupwara began walking, carrying the dead body in 5 to 6 feet of snow. They carved a walking track in the snow and had to cross Sadhna Top, at an altitude of 10,700 feet.

It took them five days of battling mounds of snow and biting cold to finally reach home and give the soldier’s mother a decent burial.

The video of Abbas, carrying his dead mother to Karnah made rounds on social media, highlighting the official apathy.

People on social networking sites have been asking what made it too difficult for the officials to transport a soldier’s dead mother.

This has also brought to light the demand of Karnah residents who, for last three decades, have been asking government to execute a tunnel to by-pass the Sadna Top which remains buried under snow for over five months a year, isolating this remote border village from the rest of the world. Unlike Kargil, Leh and Gurez , the government does not fly AN 32 during peak winters to Karnah.

(Jibran Nazir)



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