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IAF rescues 72 people in daring op at Kishtwar

January 05, 2014 00:23 IST

In a daring rescue mission, the Indian Air Force airlifted 72 people from the forlorn pockets of mountainous snow-hit Kishtwar district of Jammu region.

“130 Helicopter Unit -- “The Condors”, of the IAF stationed at Jammu yet again undertook a demanding operation of rescuing stranded people from the inaccessible villages of Kishtwar district,” a defence statement said on Saturday evening.

Several areas of the hilly districts of Kishtwar and Doda in Jammu region are still cut-off following the heavy snowfall early this week. The two districts received heavy snowfall on the New Year eve along with KashmirValley and the local administration is still grappling with the aftermath and trying to reach out to the people living in the inaccessible areas with necessary help.

“Braving piercing snow waves and extreme cold conditions, IAF’s MI-17 helicopter in assistance with the local administration airlifted 72 people from remote parts of Kishtwar district where they had been trapped for the past two days,” the statement said.

“The operation was carried out under the captainship of Sqn Ldr Shailesh Singh and Co-pilot Flight Lieutenant Ashutosh Khanduri. The aircraft took off at 0800 hrs and continued with the operations in the freezing temperature of minus 6 degree Celsius.”

“130 HU was also commended earlier by the chief minister, Omar Abdullah for undertaking rescue and relief operations during natural calamities which has enabled to save many precious lives,” the statement added. 

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar