Fresh snowfall in hills, rains lash Kashmir
JAMMU/SRINAGAR, Feb 25: After a gap of three days, six persons who had gone missing on their way to snowbound Warwan via Margan Top in remote Kishtwar district of Jammu region were found alive today and rescued by police and locals.
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Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Ashok Sharma said that all the six villagers hailing from Choidraman in heavily snowbound Warwan area were safe and re-united with their families this afternoon. During heavy snow on Tuesday night, they had taken shelter at an abandoned PWD guest house near Margan Top and third night they spent at an abandoned shop in Naribal area.
A police team from Warwan Police Station along with some locals managed to established contact with them during noon on Friday and brought them back to their village. He said they were provided necessary medical help at the local Health Centre and were happy to meet their families.
They were identified Ajaz Ahmed Koka (30), son of Abdul Rehman; Akbar (25) and Ghulam Nabi (20), both sons of Ghulam Qadir Koka; Gulzar Ahmed (18), Manzoor Ahmed (20), both sons of Ghulam Mohd and Irshad Ahmed (19), son of Sannaullah Dar, all residents of Choidraman.
SSP Kishtwar, Shafqat Hussain Bhat said that they spent three nights and three days in 8-10 ft snow and were lucky to reach home safely. He said the rescue operation was launched on the information of one Wali Mohd, son of Mohd Sultan, resident of Warwan (At present Anantnag), a relative of the missing persons, who revealed that these people have been trapped in heavy snow in Margan Top area while going to their home on Feb 22. Due to continuous rain, snowfall and bad weather, the operation was delayed. They spent two nights near Margan in PWD abandoned hut and one night at a small shop/dhaba, which was also abandoned and protected themselves from snow and severe cold condition. They had few biscuit packets with them which they had purchased from Anantnag.
A police team from Warwan under the supervision of SHO Nazir Ahmed started today morning with some locals and managed to trace them between Naiwal and Choidraman. They had reached about 3 hours journey from their village. They were provided some food and water and helped by police and locals brought them home. SSP said that he was constantly in touch with police team on wireless set.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Dr Piyush Singla said that he received confirmation from his counterpart at Kishtwar that the six persons have been rescued. A major rescue effort by joint teams of Mountain rescue, Army and SDRF was launched early morning today to locate the six persons.
A 28-person joint rescue party of MRT, SDRF, Army personnel along with local guides left Matigawran at 4:45 AM today, said DC Anantnag.
Supervising the operations personally, SSP Anantnag Ashish Mishra was in close touch with Army authorities of Sector 2 RR and monitored the rescue operation minutely. The joint efforts by District Administration, District Police, Army and authorities from Kishtwar were instrumental in ensuring that the rescue operation was smooth and the persons reached home safely.
The efforts were implemented on ground by close coordination of SDM Kokernag , SDPO Kokernag and CO 3 RR Larkipora.
It is pertinent to mention here that Army authorities kept Helicopter on standby for recce of missing persons but due to inclement weather that option could not be exercised and decision to carry out on foot evacuation was taken.
Meanwhile, the hills in Kashmir received fresh light snowfall while rains lashed the Valley with Weatherman forecasting more fresh snowfall and rains across the region.
Srinagar recorded a rise of 0.9 degree Celsius in night temperature with mercury settling at 1.6 degree Celsius against last night’s 0.7 degree Celsius.
Qazigund recorded a low of 0.6 degree Celsius against minus 0.1 degree Celsius the previous night.
Kokernag had a low of minus 1.5 degree Celsius against minus 0.8 degree Celsius the previous night.
Pahalgam received fresh snowfall and recorded a low of minus 1.8 degree Celsius against minus 0.8 degree Celsius last night.
Gulmarg received half a foot fresh snowfall and recorded a low of minus 5.5 degree Celsius against minus 5.2 degree Celsius the previous night. The temperature was 0.3 degree Celsius above normal for this time of the year for the ski resort.
Kupwara recorded a low of 2.2 degree Celsius against 0.2 degree Celsius the previous night.
While ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day long harshest period of winter ended on January 30, and 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ culminated on February 19, Kashmir is presently under the grip of 10-day-long ‘Chilla Bachha’.
Leh recorded a low of minus 7.0 degree Celsius against last night minus 5.6 degree Celsius on previous night while mercury at Kargil settled at minus 13.0 degree Celsius. Drass recorded a low of minus 18.0 degree Celsius, against 7.2 degree Celsius the previous night.
The MeT Department forecast scattered light rain, snow or thundershowers over Jammu and Kashmir divisions in the next 24 hours. Isolated light rain, snow and thundershowers to mainly dry weather has been forecast for the next two days.