In a tragic incident, an Odia soldier named Saroj Kumar Dash, hailing from Kendudhipa in Dhenkanal district, is among the 23 Army personnel reported missing due to a flash flood in the Teesta River within Sikkim’s Lachen Valley. This devastating event resulted from a sudden cloud burst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim. The news of Saroj’s disappearance has cast a shadow of sorrow over his family and the local community. His family anxiously awaits his safe rescue, praying for his well-being.
Saroj Dash was part of the Army team currently missing, and his family’s last contact with him was a call around 10 pm the previous night. Subsequently, they received a call from his unit, confirming his status as one of the missing soldiers. The unit assured them that rescue operations were underway, urging patience during this challenging time. Saroj’s brother, Manoj, shared that Saroj had recently received a promotion and had been on a 15-day training assignment before this incident.
Tragically, Saroj Dash had been married for just seven months before this calamity struck. He had visited his family two months ago and then returned to his duty. The death toll from the Sikkim flash floods has reached five, while the 23 Army personnel remain missing. Search and rescue efforts are ongoing, although intermittent rain and thunderstorms are impeding progress.
Defence PRO Wing Commander Himanshu Tiwari reported, “Twenty-three Army personnel are missing, and 41 vehicles are stuck in the slush. Relief and rescue operations are actively addressing the aftermath of the flash floods that affected Lachen Valley in Sikkim.” These floods have also caused damage to several Army installations along the Lachen Valley. The Sikkim government has issued a high alert, advising people to stay away from the Teesta River. Prime Minister Modi has spoken with Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, assuring him of all possible support in this difficult situation.