SRINAGAR: The search operation to retrieve the bodies of three missing persons, including a father-son duo and a fifth-grade student, has entered its third day, with multiple rescue agencies continuing their efforts.

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A woman in the Batwara area of Srinagar district watches rescuers on the River Jhelum shore following the capsizing of a boat carrying 19 people, resulting in six fatalities, three missing, and the remainder rescued.(KL image: Numan Bhat)
A woman in the Batwara area of Srinagar district watches rescuers on the River Jhelum shore following the capsizing of a boat carrying 19 people, resulting in six fatalities, three missing, and the remainder rescued.(KL image: Numan Bhat)

Despite the concerted efforts of teams from various departments, including the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indian Army’s MARCOS, and others, no traces of the bodies have been found yet.

A group of women are wailing near the spot where a boat carrying 19 people, including minors, capsized. This tragic incident in the Batwara area of Central Kashmir's Srinagar district on April 16, 2024, has resulted in six deaths, with three others still missing. (KL images: Sahil Mir)
A group of women are wailing near the spot where a boat carrying 19 people, including minors, capsized. This tragic incident in the Batwara area of Central Kashmir’s Srinagar district on April 16, 2024, has resulted in six deaths, with three others still missing. (KL images: Sahil Mir)

Witnesses said that a daylong search operation yielded no results. “A mother, whose son was among the victims of the boat capsize incident, anxiously awaited any clues, while another woman, who lost both her husband and son in the tragedy, also awaited news,” they said. However, by evening, there was no positive outcome, and the rescue operation is set to continue tomorrow.

An elderly woman grieves the tragic loss of six lives in the boat capsize incident in the Batwara area of Srinagar on April 16, 2024( KL images: Sahil Mir)
An elderly woman grieves the tragic loss of six lives in the boat capsize incident in the Batwara area of Srinagar on April 16, 2024( KL images: Sahil Mir)

Officials informed that the search operation has been ongoing since April 16, when the tragic incident occurred in the Gandabal area of Srinagar. He said teams are tirelessly scouring the waters of Jehlum, from Gandabal to Rajbagh Srinagar, leaving no area unchecked. Two teams have been dispatched to the Chattabal Veer area to expand the search efforts, the official added.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, hundreds of locals from various parts of the Kashmir Valley, along with religious clerics, visited Gandabal to offer condolences and stand in solidarity with the grieving families. Notable clerics from Sunni, Shia and Ahl-e-Hadith schools, including Moulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi, Moulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, Aga Syed Hadi Kashmiri, and Moulana Fayaz Rizvi, among others, visited to offer prayers for the deceased individuals.

The tragedy took place when a boat carrying school students, locals, and non-local residents capsized in the waters of Jhelum in Srinagar’s Gandabal area on Tuesday morning, resulting in six fatalities and three individuals going missing.

Administration issues advisory in wake of rain forecast. In light of the forecast of rainfall from April 18 to 20 by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Srinagar Station, the District Administration of Srinagar has advised the public, especially those residing on the Left and Right Banks of River Jhelum, its tributaries and Nallahs, to refrain from venturing near these water bodies and limit their activities until the weather improves.

Tourists, local Shikara wallas, sand miners, and individuals using boat crossing points for travel at Dal Lake and River Jhelum are cautioned against crossing before verifying the condition and situation of these water bodies.

For any information, the general public can contact the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Srinagar and Police Control Srinagar.(KNO)

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