The Jammu and Kashmir State Government has informed that still three of its citizens are missing at Uttarakhand. This information has been provided by the Jammu and Kashmir Police to activist Raman Sharma, in response to his Right to Information plea seeking details from the state home department about the number of J and K People killed or missing in Uttarakhand natural disaster that claimed lives of thousands of people in June-2013.
Public Information Officer of Zonal Police Headquarters, Jammu (ZPHQ-J) vide his office letter no. RTI/ZPHQ/42/2013/24286-87 dated 07/Sept/2013 has apprised the Information Seeker that three persons namely Sham Lal Gupta S/o Hakumat Rai (62), Neelam Gupta w/o Sham Lal Gupta (60) both residents of Sarwal Colony Jammu and Ramesh Gupta(62) S/o Des Raj who is resident of Kashmiri Mohalla Akhnoor, Jammu are still missing at Uttarakhand and report in this connection has been
reported at Police Station Dehradun and search of all the 3 missing person is still going on.
The reply also mentions the name of Late Bhim Singh S/o Late Padhu Singh of Hiranagar in Kathua, an Inspector in ITBP who sacrificed his life during the rescue operations on June 25, 2013. It also states that except Jammu and Kathua districts, no person from other district of the state is missing or died there in Uttarakhand. On the question of ex-gratia being offered to the families of the victims, it has been replied that an amount of Rs. One Lac has been given by the Deputy Commissioner , Kathua to the NoKs of the deceased Inspector. However, the information served by the police department has skipped the
direct reply where the applicant has asked about the steps being taken out by the J & K government to trace out its citizen and the detail about the total number of officers from Jammu and Kashmir State that are being sent there to Uttarakahand to find out the missing JK People.
Reacting over the RTI reply served by the state government, the activist Raman Sharma said the government should have had itself made pro-active disclosure about its initiative to find out the missing people of the state and help offered to the families of the victims. He said the government needs to be more sensitive to the miseries of the affected families, besides demanding monetary relief for the next kin of the victims, he also urged the state government to establish a coordination cell there at Uttarakhand to find further details about the missing persons.