December 2017 News

3 Jawans Die, 2 Missing As Avalanches Hit J&K

12 December 2017
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit and Sanjay Khajuria

Srinagar: Three jawans and an Army porter were killed while two soldiers went missing in two avalanches that hit north Kashmir's Kupwara and Bandipora districts in the past 24 hours. The missing jawans are feared dead, a defence spokesperson said on Tuesday. Two soldiers went missing after an avalanche hit a security installation of the Army's 20 Dogra regiment in Kupwara's Nowgam sector. Police said operations are under way to find them. In Bandipora's Gurez sector, an avalanche struck a security installation manned by 36 Rashtriya Rifles in the Baktoor region, killing three soldiers. Army porter Ghulam Qadir Khan, a resident of Gurez, fell to his death after slipping from a height during snowfall, said police. Khan was part of a four-member group, the rest of whom skidded to safety, they added. The Valley received the season's first snowfall on Monday, with the upper reaches receiving snow since the evening, triggering multiple avalanches in north Kashmir. The meteorological department recorded about six inches of snow at Gulmarg - the popular ski resort - till 8.30am on Monday. Pahalgam in south Kashmir received three inches of snow and Tosamaidan six inches. The Valley received more snow coupled with heavy rain on Tuesday, forcing shut the Srinagar-Jammu highway for the second consecutive day. Heavy snowfall on Razdan Top and Gurez valley disrupted traffic movement on Mughal Road and the Bandipora-Gurez road, while inclement weather also suspended chopper services in Katra. 'The Jammu-Srinagar highway that links the rest of India with Kashmir was closed for vehicular traffic as a precautionary measure following heavy snowfall on both sides of Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal, Patnitop and Ramban, and landslides triggered at Pathiyal on Tuesday morning,' Ramban SSP Mohan Lal said.

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