Body of missing paragliding pilot recovered after a year in Himachal Pradesh

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Palampur (Himachal Pradesh), July 31 (ANI): The dead body of a Russian paragliding pilot Alexey Ashurov, who had gone missing during a paragliding championship in October 2009, has been recovered from Himachal's Palampur district.

The body was discovered by a shepherd named Sharan Das, who found the remains of the body and informed the Palampur town police, who then identified the victim by the equipments found near the remains.

"We have recovered some material from the spot like the paraglider, the colours of which match the description of the one in which he took the flight. We have also recovered some clothes and they are the same as worn by him on that day. We have also found his pair of spectacles. The members of our Mountaineering and Paragliding Association who had gone there have identified his spectacles and clothes," said Sanjiv Chauhan, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Palampur.

It took almost three days for the six policemen and the shepherds to bring back the body as it was trapped in one of the roughest mountainous terrains.

The body is totally in a decomposed state and a DNA test will be conducted soon for verification.

"We will conduct a DNA test on the body that been brought here to ascertain beyond doubt that it is Alexey only," Chauhan said.

Ashurov, 41, went missing on October 23, 2009, during the annual pre-World Cup Paragliding competition, organized in the Bir-Billing valley in Himachal's Kangra district.

Ashurov took off from Billing, some 80 km from the district headquarter town of Kangra, for Bir and lost his way due to strong winds.

Another pilot named Elliya Yudin had lost his life during this event when he had gone on a rescue mission to find Ashurov, five days after he went missing.

Over 50 daredevil paragliders from India and several foreign countries including Russia, U.K and U.S took part in this event.

But following the mishaps, the Himchal Pradesh state government imposed a ban on this event.

Paragliding began in 1995 but it was in 2001 that the state decided to regularise the sport and exploit the tourist potential.(ANI)

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