A 70-year-old retired Border Security Force deputy inspector general died in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh while leading a team to “explore the shortest route to China border”, officials said on Wednesday.
The retired officer, SC Negi, had commanded a BSF battalion in Kargil during the 1999 war between India and Pakistan, and had retired in 2010 after putting in 33 years of service.
“He took his last breath in the mountain for the cause of the nation when he was willingly leading a recce (reconnaissance) and survey team of a security force to explore a shortest route to China border in Himachal Pradesh,” the BSF said in a statement.
“He was advised by his family against the trip as he being 70-years-old, but he said it will be his last trip,” the BSF said in a statement.
True to his words, it became his last trip and even after retirement, he died in the line of duty for the nation, the force said.
The BSF statement did not identify the security force team that the officer was leading.
However, sources in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) said the retired officer was rescued by a patrol party of the force on Tuesday from the remote Nishangaon area of Kinnaur district along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
The officer was seen lying injured by the ITBP patrol and he had suffered multiple fractures. He died while he was being carried by ITBP troops, they said.
They said his body is being kept at Ganthambralam border post, at a height of about 18,600 feet in Himachal Pradesh, of the ITBP for over 24 hours as a helicopter sortie is awaited to pick the mortal remains.
A 1977-batch officer of the BSF cadre, Negi is known as the “oldest Indian police officer” to scale the world’s tallest peak Mount Everest at the age of 56 years in 2006, the BSF said.
He had also been the leader of the central mountaineering team of BSF for a long time, it added.