Operation to recover porters bodies intensified by Army in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan 15 (UNI) The Army has intensified operation to recover the bodies of soldiers and porters killed in snowstorm and avalanches near the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector on January 8.

The Defence authorities have already sanctioned Rs one lakh in favour of the civilian porters killed in the tragedy.

Refuting the allegation that the Army was doing nothing to recover the bodies of civilian porters, a Defence Ministry spokesman said here that the bodies of Army personnel, also buried alive in the same incident, too have not been recovered due to unstable snow condition and inclment weather at Chota Kazi Nar Dhar near the LoC.

He said efforts at all levels are going on to recover the bodies without suffering any more casualty.

However, he said, after taking all precautions, 10 porters, all relatives of missing civilians, reached the nearest army post, close to the LoC, with the assistance of soldiers.

He added that search operation has been launched this morning again to recover the bodies of the missing soldiers and civilians.

Success still eludes to locate the bodies despite the fact that the Army has carried out aerial reconnaissance of the area and maintained visual surveillance over the area of mishap.

He said attempts are being made to open routes to reach the incident site.

Additional rescue teams of the Army are also on stand by along with avalanche rescue dogs.

However, the area being in the vicinity of the LoC with high sensitivity, operations to recover the bodies have to be undertaken with due precautions.

The spokesman said some elements have been instigating the people of Maiyan and Braripora with rumors that the Army is not carrying out search nor permitting others to do the same.

''There is absolutely no truth in these rumors as the Army is fully aware of the sensitivity involved as also of the actual snow and terrain conditions,'' he added.

The Army has already taken measures to look after the families of the missing persons, he said, adding bank accounts for them have been opened in Uri so that compensation reaches the correct quarters and is not misappropriated by unethical elements.

He said cheques of Rs 50,000 each, initially released by Army, are being credited on today, while an additional Rs 50,000 each has been released by the Army Chief as special relief to the families of the missing civilians.

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