Whatsapp message alerts Himachal official to save stranded trekker

Shimla, Aug 15 (IANS) An alarming message on Whatsapp about a trekker being stranded in a mountain pass in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil owing to injuries has led a Himachal Pradesh government official to organise his rescue.

The official took the initiative on Saturday to locate the numbers of local officials concerned and sought their help to rescue the trekker, whose companion has reached Zanskar in Kargil after more than one and a half days of trekking.

“This morning, I came to know from a Whatsapp group about a trekker who received serious injuries and is stranded somewhere at the base of Umasi Pass in Zanskar,” Rakesh Kanwar, the deputy commissioner of Himachal’s Kullu district, told IANS.

Kanwar said he got the phone number of the surviving trekker Rijul Gill and established contact with him.

“He (Gill) informed me that he and his friend Arun Sharma left for the Umasi Pass on August 9 from Killar (in the Pangi Valley in Himachal’s Chamba district).

“So I immediately spoke to the resident commissioner of Pangi and he agreed to send a rescue party to the spot, which is some 100 km from there and can be reached by trekking only,” he said.

“Though the area where the trekker is stranded falls in Jammu and Kashmir, he (the resident commissioner of Pangi) agreed to send the team there,” he said.

“I subsequently spoke to the deputy commissioner of Leh and sought his help to send a rescue party from there. He too informed the Kargil authorities to help rescue him,” Kanwar said.

He said the sub-divisional magistrate posted in Zanskar (in Kargil district) said a requisition has been sent to the Indian Army to deploy a chopper for locating and rescuing the trekker.

“His chances of survival seem more as his friend is claiming that he has left sufficient ration for him and he has a tent and a sleeping bag but he can’t move on his own.

“It has been four days now. He is claiming that he was with him for two days and left him with an assurance that he would arrange help for him,” Kanwar said.

“Let’s hope he will be rescued tomorrow,” he added.

Both the trekkers belong to Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh.

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