Srinagar (5 February, 2017): Battling mounds of snow and biting cold for almost a week, a soldier, Mohammad Abbas Khan, had to struggle hard to lay his mother to eternal rest at his ancestral village in Karnah in Kupwara district in north Kashmir.
Khan, who was posted in Pathankot-Punjab, had taken his mother along to escape the chilling winter in Kashmir. His mother died of a heart attack on January 28. As air-traffic remained suspended in the Valley due to rough weather, Khan travelled to Srinagar by road then left for Drangyari in Kupwara, hoping that Army might help him to fly the body to Chitrakote, 52 km from Kupwara. But the help never came. Around this time some of his relatives had reached Drangyari, where they got stranded for four days and the villagers (at Drangyari) extended their help by providing them food and shelter. Finally, they set out on foot while carrying the body for hours together. An army unit in Drangyari helped them with over a dozen labourers and finally they managed to reach home to perform the last rites of Khan’s mother.
The state administration, however, claimed that they had arranged a chopper for carrying the mortal remains, but the family chose to travel on their own and the chopper was later used to ferry patients from Tanghdar (Karnah in north Kashmir) to other places.