Three persons died after they were caught in a snow blizzard near Khooni Nallah, Sadhna Top in Kupwara district on Tuesday.
A police official said five persons were walking fromKupwara to Karnah—the road was closed for vehicular traffic on Monday due tobad weather—when the blizzard hit them.
"Two managed to reach Sadhna Top and informed the army thereabout their three missing companions," Kupwara senior superintendent of policeShriram Ambarkar said.
He said the soldiers found the deceased on the road ataround 3am.
The deceased are Tahir Younis Khoja, 22, son of Youns Khojaand Khaliq Sheikh, 40, son of Qadir Sheikh, both residents of Hajinard, Karnah,and Fareed Ahmad, 25, son of Lal Din of Shamspora Karnah.
Thousands of residents participated in the funeral of the deceasedin their native villages.
The angry residents accused the government of ignoring theirdemand for construction of 6.12-km tunnel at Sadhna Top that will provideall-weather connectivity to Tangdhar. At present, the avalanche-prone roadremains closed for most of the winter months because of snow.
"We are going to boycott upcoming parliamentary election ifthe tunnel is not built. Because of the negligence of the authorities we havebeen losing lives," said Zubair Ahmad of Tangdhar.
A top Beacon official said that Sadhna Top tunnel is secondon the priority list after Razdan Pass tunnel.
"We have proposed a DPR for Razdan Pass tunnel and once thatis completed then the work on Sadhna Top tunnel will begin," he said.
As many as 20 people have died along the 78-kmKupwara-Tangdhar road in the past five years.