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17 ITBP jawans trapped in snow in Chamba, HP

February 12, 2005 13:13 IST

At least 17 Indo-Tibetan Border Police jawans were feared trapped under 12 to 14 feet of snow at the Saunthin post in the alpine region of Chamba district bordering Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said in Shimla on Saturday.

The ITBP headquarters and the district administration have not been able to establish contact with the post for the past two days. An army helicopter sent for reconnaissance could not reach the area due to inclement weather, Deputy Commissioner, Chamba, Rahul Anand told PTI.

Efforts were on to establish wireless contact with the post. Special police officers and members of village defence committees have volunteered to take part in rescue operations. The district administration has sought the help of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Manali, for rescuing the jawans.

Thirteen ITBP posts were erected along the border after the massacre of 35 people in Satrundi area on August 2,1998.

The border post can be reached only after 12-14 km of trekking on steep hills. But now all approach roads have been blocked due to heavy snow.

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