9 killed in Kishtwar accident
CM, Guv, Azad, Mehbooba express sympathies with bereaved
At least nine officials, including the District Sheep Husbandry Officer, died after an official vehicle they were travelling in skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge near Potato Farm on Kishtwar-Sinthan-Srinagar highway, 70 kms from here, on Tuesday morning.
Official sources said the ill-fated official sumo (JK17-0840) was on way from Kishtwar to Sinthan Top when it met with the accident at Kamraji Morh near Potato Farm.
The sources said the official team led by Sheep Husbandry Officer Kishtwar, Dr Muhammad Rafiq Akhoon, along with Veterinary Assistant Surgeon Chatroo and para-vet staff was on its way to attend flocks of sheep and goat in Sinthan Top area where outbreak of some disease among the livestock was reported.
As per reports, the accident took place about 10:00 am. After receiving the information it, a police party from police station Chatroo, medical team from PHC Chatroo, Veterinary team, army personnel from Chingam and local people rushed to the spot for rescue operation. Nine people had died on the spot, reports said.
Their bodies were shifted to Primary Health Center Chatroo and District Hospital Kishtwar. After legal formalities and autopsy, the police handed over the bodies to their relatives.
The deceased have been identified as Dr Muhammad Rafiq Akhoon; Dr Amir Kamal, Veterinary Assistant Surgeon (30) son of Ghulam Nabi of Kishtwar; Abdul Rehman son of Lassa Reshi (58) of Chatroo; Irshad Ahmed son of Ghulam Muhammad Wani (42) of Sheri Chatroo; Sat Pal Sharma (40) son of Gosawami of Berabhatta Kishtwar; Ghulam Nabi son of Muhammad Ramzan of Mullar Chingam; Rakesh Kumar (40) son of Prem Nath of Loidhar; Ahmed-ullah; and Mansoor Ahmad, driver of the vehicle.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed deep grief over the road accident. In his condolence message to the bereaved and the department, Omar conveyed his solidarity and sympathy and prayed for peace to the departed souls.
The Chief Minister also announced Rs 1 lakh each for the deceased in the accident.
Governor NN Vohra expressed grief on the death of nine persons in the road accident. He conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls.
A spokesman of the Raj Bhavan said the Governor has expressed regret and deep anguish that while over a thousand innocent persons lose their lives in recurring road accidents every year, the concerned authorities have still to implement strict tangible measures to remedy the situation.
An official spokesman said Minister of State for Home, Industries and Commerce, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo expressed deep shock and grief over the tragic accident. “On receiving the tragic news, Kichloo immediately rushed to the spot. He also visited Kishtwar and expressed his sympathies and solidarity with the bereaved,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, conveyed his condolences and sympathies to the bereaved. He demanded adequate compensation for the families of deceased employees.
Azad, the former chief minister of J&K, called for a ‘Comprehensive Action Plan’ for containing rising number of accidents in Chenab Valley. “The State Government must take immediate steps to address this issue as delay is leading to loss of precious lives on almost daily basis. It is an emergent issue and State has to address it will all sensitivity,” he said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti, also expressed deep shock and profound grief over the tragic road accident at Sinthan Top.
In a statement, she expressed her sorrow over the tragic loss of precious lives and conveyed her heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved.