Twenty Indian soldiers posted in border areas of the country, most of them in Jammu and Kashmir, have gone missing from 1996 to 2010, according to an RTI reply.
As per the reply given by the ministry of external affairs, 18 soldiers went missing from Jammu and Kashmir while two disappeared from Gujarat.
Havaldar Bhupendra Bahadur Thapa, Netra Bahadur Thapa, Naik Hark Bahadur Rana and Lance Naik Raju Gurang of Gorkha Rifles went missing from Krishna Ghati of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir on August 12, 1996, the reply stated. Bhupendra, Netra and Hark were residents of Nepal, while Raju hailed from Dehradun.
Similarly, Captain Avinash Kumar Sharma of 11 Engineer Regiment went missing from the Akhnoor sector of Jammu and Kashmir on August 16, 1996, it said. Captain Sanjiv Bhattacharjee and Lance Naik Ram Bahadur Thapa of Gorkha Rifles disappeared from the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat on April 27, 1997, the ministry said. GNR Virendra Singh of 286 Medium Regiment went missing from the Kaksar Sector of Jammu and Kashmir on October 17, 1998. Gopal Das of 8 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry went missing from Poonch Sector of Jammu and Kashmir on August 20, 2000. Lance Naik Jose James of 5131 ASC BN went missing from Kargil on June 15, 2003, the reply stated.
Krishna Kumar of 6 Engineer Regiment went missing from the Uri Sector in Jammu and Kashmir on August 8, 2003. Mahesh and Sailesh Kumar Shukla of 539 ASC BN disappeared from Jammu and Kashmir on July 8, 2005. Naik Sandeep Singh of 234 AER Unit is also missing from Jammu and Kashmir since April 26, 2006. Vikram Singh and Bishnu Rai of 17 Mahar Regiment went missing from Batalik on August 5, 2006.
According to the reply, Havaldar Ranjit Kumar and Rakesh Kumar of 15 Bihar Regiment went missing from Siachin on August 6, 2010. On the same day, riflemen Sewang Dorjai and Karma Namagil of Ladhak Scouts Regiment Centre had gone missing from Leh.
The RTI reply did not mention anything about the reasons behind the disappearance of the soldiers or their present condition.