`Jhelum Roya…’:  An agonizing wait continues for distraught families at Gandbal

April 18, 2024

SRINAGAR:  An agonizing wait is getting longer and longer for distraught families whose dear ones are missing in the boat tragedy at Gandbal in Srinagar.

Thirty-six hours on, there is no trace of missing people in the boat tragedy.

Six people including school students drowned while three others including a father-son are missing after a passenger boat capsized in Jhelum at Gundbal Batwara on Tuesday morning. Five people have been rescued in the incident.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir,  VK Birdi said the search operation to trace the three missing persons from river Jhelum is underway.

Birdi said that they have alerted all the police stations along river Jhelum to keep watch on bodies.

“Rescue operation continued in the night and resumed in the morning. We haven’t found the bodies yet,” he told reporters here.

Birdi said that specialized divers who are searching the missing persons are searching at the sites where there is a high probability of missing persons.

“These specialized divers have their understanding of water and water currents and they are searching where there is high probability. They are searching for the bodies. We have alerted all police stations along Jhelum to look out for the bodies,” he added.

Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar Dr Bilal Mohi-ud-din said they are probing how the boat capsized though their primary focus is on search and rescue operation.

“The unfortunate incident occurred between 7.45 am and 8 am. Our reports say that 15 people were on board the boat when it capsized. They include eight adults and seven minors. Six people have died and six others have been rescued. Three of them are undergoing treatment and three others are stable at home. Our reports say three including two children are missing,” he said

Indian army and  Indian Navy’s Marcos too have joined the search and rescue operation. “Four SDRF, two NDRF, two river police, fire and emergency, Marcos and others are carrying out the operation. We have divided the area to locate the missing people,” said Ashish Mishra, SSP Srinagar.

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