1268 stranded passengers airlifted in J

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Jammu, Feb 9 (UNI) Indian Air Force today launched 'Operation Humsafar' in the winter-hit Jammu and Kashmir, airlifting 1268 stranded passengers including military and paramilitary troops from Jammu Technical Airport to Srinagar and vice versa, official sources said.

In response to the state government's request after the recent unprecedented snowfall, the IAF pressed into service heavy and medium planes to airlift stranded passengers at both the capital cities.

''Air Force Station Jammu has been tasked to coordinate bridging operations between Jammu and Srinagar valley to provide relief to the stranded civilian population of J&K following the closure of NH-1A pass due to heavy snow fall and inclement weather,'' said Defence spokesman Lt Col S D Goswami.

Similarly, arrangements have been made to airlift stranded passengers at Srinagar.

''Eight sorties of IL76 and 4 sorties of AN32 airlifted the stranded passengers on the first day of 'Operation Humsafar' between both the capital cities throughout the day'' the spokesman added.

''505 passengers were airlifted from Jammu to Srinagar and 763 passengers were brought to Jammu from Srinagar including tourists and military troops,'' he said.

Vehicular movement on 300-kms-long Jammu Srinagar national highway was suspended after the unprecedented snowfall and rains en route.

Hundreds of goods carriers and passenger vehicles are halted at various places on the NH1A pass, sources said.

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