Colonel Narendra Bull Kumar, The Man Who Secured Siachen for India, No More

Colonel Narendra "Bull" Kumar
Colonel Narendra “Bull” Kumar

New Delhi: Colonel Narendra Bull Kumar, the man who secured Siachen glacier for India passed away at Army Research and Referral (R&R) hospital in Delhi on Thursday. Kumar was 87 and was suffering from several age-related ailments.

One of the first officers to land on the glacier as a part of the mountaineering expedition, Kumar was instrumental in convincing India’s military/ political leadership about the strategic importance of the Siachen glacier.

Kumar’s observations during his multiple visits to the glacier as a mountaineer which were published in the Illustrated Weekly of India in 1983, were the first public acknowledgement of the developing situation along the freezing heights at the Siachen heights.

It was based on his maps and videos that the Indian Army launched Operation Meghdoot in 1984, which secured the glacier and prevented it from an evident Pakistan aggression. 

In 1965, Kumar was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award. The Army honoured him by decorating him with the  Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) distinction in all three services, an honour at the rank of a colonel. He was also decorated with Kirti Chakra and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal. The Siachen Battalion HQ at the glacier base camp has been named ‘Kumar base’ in his honour.