A pall of gloom descended on Betadur, hometown of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, after news of his death reached the village.
His family has begun making preparations for his funeral.
Hanamanthappa, who is survived by his wife and a daughter, belonged to a farming family in this village in Dharwad district of Karnataka. He walked 6 kilometres every day to study at the high school at Aralikatti village. The youngest in the family, Hanamanthappa always wanted to be a soldier. Despite being rejected thrice in the Army recruitment rallies at Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag, he persisted and finally managed to get into the 19 Madras Regiment 14 years ago.
He married Mahadevi (Jayashri) four years ago. Their daughter, Netra, is two years old. His earnings helped his family build a house on a government-allotted site in the village.
His last visit to Betadur was six months ago. He had called his family on February 2, a day before the avalanche hit his camp. “He enquired about all of us,” said his eldest brother, Govindappa.
Former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar visited Hanamanthappa’s residence and offered his condolences.