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Lockdown: 3 J&K labourers die of cold while trekking to home

SRINAGAR: Three labourers had to pay with their life while trekking a treacherous route through mountainous range from south Kashmir’s Anantnag district in order to reach homes at Banihal in the lockdown.

The trio was part of a group of seven labourers who started their trek on Tuesday morning from Verinag in Anantnag district, where they had been working, to reach Banihal in Ramban district. The group decided to take the mountainous route as no civilian movement is allowed on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in view of the ongoing lockdown to contain COVID-19.

While the three died of hypothermia after being stuck in a hill top due to bad weather on Tuesday evening, three others managed to reach their homes and one had to be rescued by the police. The deceased were identified as Ghulam Mohidin (30), Zubair Ahmad (20) and Reyaz Ahmad (22), all from Hinyal village in Banihal.

“Three labourers reached their village safely while four other were stuck at a hill top, Nagimandu (Hingal top), about 5 km from Dulligam, Banihal,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ramban, Haseeb-ur-Rehman told this newspaper.

The hill top had received heavy snowfall, leading to a considerable drop in temperature. Four labourers could not cross the terrain because of extreme bad weather conditions, he said.

Haseeb said a rescue operation was launched by the police when news came in that four labourers were stuck on the hill top. “Our personnel managed to rescue one labourer while three others had died of hypothermia due to the cold,” the SSP said. “The bodies were recovered from the spot.”

Wednesday was the 14th day of lockdown in Kashmir. The lockdown in Kashmir was imposed on March 19, a day after the first positive COVID-19 case was reported.

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