Hyderabad: Friends of mountaineer Malli Mastan Babu will not rest till his body is brought back to his birthplace. The team spread across the globe that funded and coordinated the rescue mission for the mountaineer is feeling limited as “civilians”. Now, they are counting on the government of India to help out. Umashankar Kopalle, based in Illinois, USA said, “Friends in India are working on the process of bringing the body down. We need permissions, transportation, and a team to bring him down from the mountains. We need the Indian government to speed up the process as the weather might get worse.”
Businessman and friend of Mastan, Satyam Bheemarasetti, met Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, who was in Hyderabad on Sunday, and impressed upon him that quick action was needed as some very tricky factors were in play here.
“The mountain where Mastan’s body has been found is in the middle of Chile and Argentina. So we need both these countries to come together. Naidu has assured us that External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has already had a word with the Indian embassies in Chile and Argentina on matters of funds and getting the right kind of choppers and equipment from the Chile military,” he said.
Since Mastan had a visa from Argentina, he began his journey from there and was also expected to return to Argentina. It was bad weather that forced him towards the Chilean side of the mountain.
“We need to bring the body back as soon as possible as the weather conditions will soon worsen. The wind is expected to be faster than 100 km per hour.
We are worried about the body moving or getting stuck deeper in the snow. We cannot postpone, assuming that it will be fine as the body is in snow,” added Mr Satyam, hoping that the government of India would act fast.The Indian Air Force often works on similar missions when requests come from the United States of America or Israeli embassies and that gives the team here hope that India will manage to get the Chilean government and military’s help. Malli Mastan Babu was found dead in his orange tent at an altitude of 5,900 meters in the Andes mountain range of Chile. He was returning from what he planned to be his last ambitious summit before he would “settle down to write his book” on the adventures of which he was living out the last chapter — the great challenges of the Andes.