The body of top Indian mountaineer Malli Mastan Babu, who died while scaling a mountain between Argentina and Chile, was brought home on Friday. He will be cremated on Saturday in his native village in Andhra Pradesh.
The body reached Delhi airport from Buenos Aires early Friday and was flown to Chennai in the afternoon. Mastan Babu’s body will be taken by road to Gandhijana Sangam village in Nellore district.
Mastan Babu’s sister Malli Dorasanamma accompanied the body from Argentina. Many friends of the mountaineer paid their last respects at Delhi and Chennai. Dosaranamma said the proud son of India lost his life during a difficult mission. She thanked the central and state governments for bringing the body home.
Central minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, state IT Minister P. Raghunath Reddy and other state ministers and officials will attend the last rites, which will be performed with official honours.
The 40-year-old Mastan Babu went missing on March 24 while trying to scale solo a mountain Cerro Tres Cruces Sur. He was found dead on April 3 but the body could not be retrieved for several days due to adverse weather.
The body was finally brought down by a group of professional mountaineers. The government of India spent $100,000 on this effort.
The mortal remains were brought to Buenos Aires for autopsy. After embalming and completion of other formalities, it was flown to India.
The top mountaineer had achieved the feat of becoming the “fastest seven summiteer” in the world (172 days in 2006, during which he climbed seven summits on seven days of the week in each calendar month).(IANS)