Cold kills one in Kashmir valley, toll rises to 12

Srinagar, Jan 31 (PTI) A mentally challenged man todaydied due to cold in Jammu and Kashmir''s Ganderbal district,taking the death toll to 12 due to chill in Kashmir valleythis winter, officials said.

50-year-old Bashir Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Handwaratown, was found unconscious at Kangan, 45 km from here. Localsrushed him to a nearby hospital where he was declared broughtdead, they said.

Meanwhile, the state government has sought air forceassistance to airlift passengers stranded in snow-bound Gurezsector of Bandipora district, an official spokesman said.

IAF will press Mi-17 helicopter into service betweenBandipora and Neeru and Bandipora-Baduab on February 2 toairlift the passengers, he said.

Gurez was cut off from rest of the valley as heavysnowfall forced closure of Bandipora-Gurez road.

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