2 dead as rafting boat capsizes in Pahalgam; probe ordered

A civilian injured in boat capsizing being shifted to hospital in Pahalgam on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Sajjad Dar
A civilian injured in boat capsizing being shifted to hospital in Pahalgam on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Sajjad Dar

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, June 18: Two persons including an employee of the Tourism department died after a rafting boat capsized in river Lidder in Pahalgam area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district this evening.
The deceased have been identified as Rinku Raja, while as another was identified as Sanjna both residents of Jammu. Six more who were also in the boat were left injured.
Locals in the area said initially the teams of local rescuers carried out rescue operation and they were later joined by the team of SDRF and police personnel and they managed to shift the injured for treatment.
“A joint team of SDRF, police and local volunteers managed to rescue all 6 persons who were on the boat and were shifted for treatment,” they said.
Rinku and Sanjna were declared as brought dead at the hospital. Block Medical Officer (BMO) Sallar Dr Shakeel Ahmad said that both the persons were brought dead while eight others are injured.
“Five persons have been admitted, while as another one, whose condition was critical has been referred to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment,” he said.
Those on board were locals and were participating in the championship that was organized to ‘honour’ Rouf Ahmad Dar who also died last month in a similar incident.
“A 3-day championship in honour of brave heart Rouf Ahmad Dar has been organized by the department and it started yesterday. Soon after the conclusion of today’s rafting, the employee and the participant left for rafting during which the incident took place,” a local, who was a part of the rescue team, said.
Meanwhile, Tourism Department has ordered an inquiry into the matter and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families.
Pertinently, the championship- Rouf Memorial State Rafting Championship began on Monday in which 12 teams from all the three regions of the State are participating. The championship was flagged-off by Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Khalid Jehangir.
Meanwhile, Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed profound grief over the loss of precious lives in an unfortunate incident when a rafting boat capsized at river Lidder in Pahalgam.
The has prayed for peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families in their hour of grief. He has wished speedy recovery to the injured.
The Governor announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those dead and has directed the authorities to ensure best possible medical treatment of the injured.
Expressing concern over accidents occurring during the adventure sport of Rafting in river Lidder, Malik has issued directions that strict safety measures should be taken before indulging in this sport and emphasised the need for allowing only trained manpower in managing all the activities related to it.