Imphal: Indian Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Robert TA Kuba from Manipur’s Senapati district was the among the two killed after an avalanche hit the patrolling cum snow clearance party in North Sikkim on Thursday.
The other deceased has been identified as Sapper Sapala Shanmukha Rao, who was also part of the patrolling troupe.
As per reports, 18 soldiers, including three officers, were on a patrolling cum snow clearance duty when the sudden avalanche struck in the mountainous Lugnak La region of North Sikkim.
“In spite of the best efforts of the rescue team of the Indian Army and local formation, an officer Lt Col Robert TA and a soldier who were trapped under the ice lost their lives,” said the Indian Army in a statement.
All other members of the team are safe, it added.
As per family sources, the 39-year-old Lt Col Robert, son of Tuiba Angelus, was the first army officer from Maram Naga community who had joined the Indian Army through the technical background. He hails from Maram Center village.
Born on January 24, 1981 to Thoiba Angelus and K Karaila, Lt Col Robert TA Kuba was the eldest son among eight children of the family.
In 2004, he joined the Indian Army after clearing the Technical Entry Scheme (TES) examination and passed out from the prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun in Uttarakhand.
In 2008, Lt Col Robert was awarded the Vice-Chief of the Army Staff Commendation after his squad under his leadership as a captain completed in the prestigious Army Adventure Challenge Cup and emerged as winner.
In 2017, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, the first person among the Maram community to hold the position.
According to reports, his mortal remains will reach home on Saturday. He is survived by his wife and two young daughters.