The first Indian who first initiated to conserve Siachen glacier Col (retd) Dilip Kumar Duarah breathed his last yesterday at the 151 Base Hospital, Basistha due to cardiac arrest. He was 67 and terminally ill for sometime.He was the first Assamese with first Indian team who climbed Karakoram Himalayas and reached Siachen.
Born at Golaghat in 1953, to Charubala Duarah and Harendranath Duarah, he had his primary education at Doigrung and later joined Goalpara Sainik School. He then joined the National Defence Academy. A skilful gymnast in his
school and Academy days, he was also a tough mountaineer trained under Tenzing Norgay in the Himalayan Institute of Mountaineering.
After passing out from the Indian Military Academy he joined Indian Army and posted as a mountain warfare instuctor in the High Altitude Warfare School, Gulmarg. He had taken part in many expeditions to the then virgin Siachin Glacier in early part of Eighties -‘most notably the recoinassance mission under Col.Narendra Bull Kumar in 1981.Based on the reports of this expedition, Indian Army initiated Operation Meghdoot to occupy those icy inhospitable heights in the highest Glacier.
He also extended his service in the Indian peacekeeping mission to Sri Lanka.
He leaves behind two children and a host of relatives.