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Jammu: Troops, officials set out to rescue nomads trapped in snow

June 02, 2010 22:49 IST

The Jammu and Kashmir government launched a massive relief and rescue operation on Wednesday for the nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals, who were trapped in the high altitudes of the state along with their livestock following heavy snowfall early this week.

Three air force helicopters dropped essential supplies that included rice, fodder, food packets, milk, woolen clothes and blankets in the upper reaches of the Kishtwar district in Jammu region.

The rescue operation was a joint effort by the divisional administration of Jammu and the Indian Air Force, a senior state government officer said.

The upper reaches of Kishtwar district received unseasonal rains and heavy snowfall early this week trapping hundreds of nomads along with their livestock, triggering an emergency for the state government.

"We will continue the airdropping of essentials of life and fodder for livestock tomorrow as well," the officer said.

Senior leaders of the Gujjar community appealed the prime minister to order an inquiry into the tragic loss of life and livestock in the calamity that struck the nomads.

The leaders said that due to delay in the rescue operation several lives had been lost, besides heavy loss of livestock.

Bad weather continued in Kashmir Valley and upper reaches Jammu region on Wednesday evening, escalating problems for the trapped people and state administration.
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar