Three labourers died and another one was grievously injured when they slipped from a hillock during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday in Pir Panchal range. They were coming from Halsidar-Anantnag to Hinjhal-Banihal to reach their native place.
Sources said that among the deceased is a 12th class student. The deceased were in touch with their families till midnight before they slipped.
Sources said the deceased who were part of a group member group had started their journey from Jawahar Tunnel to Kapran. “Due to the lockdown announced by the government of India in the wake of coronavirus spread, they were not allowed to cross the Jawahar Tunnel,” sources said.
In a bid to reach their native village Hinjhal, they took the route from the hillside during the night.
“As it was raining heavily in the area, four persons slipped from the hillock and fell into a deep gorge sustaining grievous injuries. Three among them died during the night while one seriously injured was rescued on Wednesday morning by the locals,” sources said.
The deceased have been identified as Gulam Mohiudeen Daraboo (34 ) son of Abdul Rehman Daraboo ,Reyaz Ahmed Daraboo 22 son of Mohammad Ramzan Daraboo and Zubir Ahmed (17) son of Mohammad Shafi Daraboo, all residents of Hinjal Banihal district Ramban. The injured, Parvaiz Ahmed (20 ) son of Abdul Majed Daraboo was shifted to Sub District Hospital (SDH) Banihal where he is fighting battle for his life.
Officials said that when another three labourers travelling on the same route safely reached their homes in Banihal village, the family members of the deceased labourers became alert and informed the police. “Soon, a search operation by police, volunteers from Banihal and army was launched and dead bodies were recovered on Wednesday afternoon,” the official said.
Abdul Majeed, father of injured labourer, Parvaiz Ahmad, said all the seven labours were working in Srinagar and were “denied entry from Jawahar Tunnel twice and were abused, which forced them to take alternative route through the snow-clad Kapran-Banihal hillock to reach home”.
Alyas Wani, a volunteer from Banihal alleged that the authorities’ at Qazigund and JT do not “behave properly with the stranded passengers”. He demanded relief for the shelter less stranded people.
He alleged that several covid19 emergency passes issued by SDM Banihal for patients to reach Kashmir hospitals have also been rejected by South Kashmir police at Jawahar Tunnel in the past days of lockdown.
Aakil Ahmed, another volunteer, said the people are suffering due to “unplanned lockdown even Cancer patients are stranded at Railway station Banihal.”
He said there should be comprehensive planning to serve stranded passengers at Railway station Banihal, Ramban and across JT”.
SSP Ramban, Hasseb ur Rehman, said that the bodies were shifted to Sub District Hospital Banihal for post-mortem and other legal formalities.