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Kolahoi tragedy: Bodies of both trekkers retrieved, laid to rest in Srinagar Joint rescue team of J&K Police, IAF, JKMHC, Deptt of Disaster Management pooled effort to accomplish mission

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The joint rescue team of J&K Police, Indian Air Force, J&K Mountaineering and Hiking Club (JKMHC) and Department of Disaster Management on Sunday morning retrieved bodies of two trekkers from Kolahoi glacier in Pahalgam, who later were buried at their respective family graveyards in Srinagar.

The trauma and ordeal of the family members and friends of both the trekkers, KAS officer, Naveed Jeelani and Adil Shah of Alpine Adventurers Group ended on Sunday morning when the bodies of both trekkers were airlifted in an IAF chopper from Kolahoi glacier, Pahalgam. Bodies were taken from Old Airport Srinagar to Police Control Room Srinagar where they were handed over to family members after completing legal formalities.

Adil and Naveed had died on Friday after facing rock fall and subsequent fall into a crevice on Kolahoi glacier while descending after successfully climbing the summit of Mount Kolahoi. In the incident another trekker of group Haziq Beigh was injured. He was later rescued and admitted in Srinagar’s SMHS hospital.

Naveed Jeelani was a resident of Nawa Kadal area of Old City Srinagar and Adil Shah, a resident of Azad Basti Natipora.

Family members of both the trekkers have thanked mountain rescue teams of Police, Disaster Management, IAF for the timely retrieval otherwise it would have taken many days for the bodies to arrive.

Rescue Operation

The 16 member rescue team of J&K Police led by Everest Climber Ram Singh and Sajad Salaria reached the Danwat base camp in higher reaches of Pahalgam on Saturday evening. There the team joined JKMHC rescue team of Nawab Mouzam, Junaid Dar, Gullu , Tufail Qureshi and Syed Tahir.

After laying out the strategy, the team started climbing towards the incident site at 4 AM in the morning and after great difficulty were able to reach  there at 9:30 in the morning. They recovered the bodies and prepared them for the downward journey.

Meanwhile Department Disaster Management headed by Amir Ali coordinated with IAF chopper that reached near the spot at 9:40 am. The IAF and joint rescue team coordinated and were able to load the bodies on the chopper. The bodies were then taken to Technical airport Srinagar and then to PCR Srinagar. Later they were handed over to respective family members who were waiting there.

“It was a joint effort and everyone showed will to retrieve the bodies from the area that is almost inaccessible and bad weather made it almost impossible. Despite lot of impediments we were able to reach the spot and then luckily due to joint coordination of Disaster Management and IAF, chopper was made available on time. It was technical skill displayed by IAF pilots to fly in the area and then being able to load the bodies,” said a member of rescue team.

The IAF team comprised of Vishal Mehta, Lakshya Mittal, Anshul Saxena, Aman Singh Chandailand Gaurav K Dev.

Adventure sports fraternity have expressed their sympathies with the bereaved families and termed the incident unfortunate.

The group of nine trekkers had started their climb towards Mount Kolahoi peak on September 2 and had successfully reached the  summit on September 6. While descending towards base camp on September 7, the group of four trekkers out of nine faced rock fall near Burdwal area on the Kolahoi Glacier. Both Adil and Naveed were hit by rocks and had subsequently fallen into crevice. The third member of group Haziq Beigh also got injured in the incident while as fourth member Arshid Majeed was miraculously unharmed. Haziq was rescued from Danwat base camp on Saturday while as bad weather had hampered the retrieval of bodies of the deceased Adil Shah and Naveed Jeelani.

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