Exclusive: How brave Indian soldiers survive in Siachen world's highest battlefield
WION New Delhi, Delhi, India
Dec 31, 2019, 11.51 AM(IST)Edited By: Abhilash Mahajan
The Siachen Glacier is the highest battlefield in the world. Since operation Meghdoot in 1984 India is is in complete control of the Siachen Glacier. Why is the control of 70 km long stretch of land so important and in what conditions does the Indian Army operate there? Watch exclusive report of WION:
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Located on the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas, both India and Pakistan stake claim on Siachen. But, India dominates control of this rugged landscape. Since Siachen is located at a very high altitude, it becomes impossible for Pakistan to throw a military challenge to India.
Guarding this region is not at all cakewalk by any means. Temperatures can reach as low as -60 degrees Celsius, oxygen drops sharply and even the food one eats, gets frozen often. Soldiers here face not just the threat of enemies from across the border but from diseases such as frostbites, severe depression, pulmonary and cerebral oedema. In many occasions, these deadly diseases result in the death of a jawan.
Siachen holds strategic importance to India as it could be an entry point to Kashmir for Pakistan and China. It is also the single largest source of fresh water in the subcontinent. Nubra River which feeds Indus originates in Siachen. It also prevents pincer attack on Ladakh by Pakistan and China.
Siachen gives memories of Operation Meghadoot that was launched 35 years ago in 1985 when the then-Captain Sanjay Kulkarni planted the first Indian flag on the glacier at Bilafond La. Since 35 years, brave Indian troops have guarded world's largest and coldest battlefield.
It is truly a saga of courage, valour, the commitment of a soldier to safety and security of India and its countrymen, as described by a senior Army officer posted in Siachen.