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Dead body of Assamese army-man recovered after four decades

New Delhi : Though it is hard to believe, an India Air Force team recovered the dead body of an Assamese airman, who had gone missing thirty years back from Chandrabhaga peak of Himachal Pradesh on 2nd of August. The airman has been identified as Mahendra Nath Phukan of Sivsagar district in upper Assam. Altogether three dead bodies have been recovered from the site. All the three had gone missing since February 7, 1968 after the IAF plane that they were travelling in crashed near the 20,500-foot high Chandrabhaga peak in Himachal Pradesh. The dead bodies had been located in a remote Himalayan valley and flown to Chandigarh air base, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said on last Friday. The mortal remains of the three soldiers were recovered from a height of 17,500 feet in a valley in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The IAF plane AN-12 took off from Chandigarh on February 7, 1968, with 102 people on board to Leh in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. So far, the bodies of only four of the 102 Indian Army and IAF personnel have been recovered.

Phukans body was identified from records and photographs. Phukan hails from Mora Bazaar of Amguri, in Sivsagar district. His remains will be flown into his home village shortly. His dead body is almost intact, though it turned to a fossil. He will be cremated with due honours, informs a local administration source

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