Pilgrims stage protests in Dehradun, blame state government

Last Updated: Friday, June 21, 2013 - 16:23

Dehradun: Angry kin of pilgrims trapped in Uttarakhand on Friday blocked major roads of the state capital and scuffled with the police, while protesting against the state government for the delay in taking effective steps to rescue the flood victims.

Dilip, a kin of the victims, said: "Ten bodies of our deceased family members are lying between Guptkashi and Rambara. Four family members are trapped and they are dying out of hunger. The government authorities here have not made any arrangements. Our trapped members told us that the authorities are lying and around 5000 people have died near Kedarnath. "

An Orthopaedic surgeon, Praveen Mittal, said that they have carried the emergency medicines and necessary surgical equipment immediately required for the flood victims.

"We are carrying all the medicines and surgical equipments like switcher material and skin staplers and all the plaster material because many people out there are wounded and with the help of these things we can apply splint on them and provide them with primary first aid in a proper way. After that we will see if the patients could be airlifted or if anyone requires any major operation then it can be done in Dehradun," said Mittal.

Thousands of houses have been swept away in the flash floods and authorities are using helicopters to evacuate people and drop essential food supplies. Army helicopters with food and medicines landed near Kedarnath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The temple is intact but the shops and homes near the temple are badly damaged. Pilgrimage authorities have indicated that the visit to the temple town would be stopped until the situation returns back to normal.

The vice chairman of the Hemkunt Sahib Gurudwara committee, Narinder Bindra, said that the pilgrame would not continue and the most most important task now is to rescue the trapped pilgrims.

Bindra said: "The government and the army are engaged in rescue operation and they are doing their best. There were 9000 people trapped in Govindghat and if there was a delay of 15 minutes in rescuing the people there could have been a major disaster. But they were rescued quickly and the army has left them at Joshimath after which they have left for their homes. Most of the people have come down to Rishikesh, some are coming and vehicles have been sent for them."

People are still stuck at Kedarnath and are awaiting rescue.


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First Published: Friday, June 21, 2013 - 16:23

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