SHIMLA: Seventy shepherds have been rescued from Bara Bhangal area of Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district after being stranded for nearly a month, a senior official said on Thursday.
Nineteen groups of 70 shepherds along with over 10,000 sheep and 250 horses have been rescued, Baijnath sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Vikas Shukla said.
The rescued shepherds are on their way to Baijnath in Kangra and Paddar in Mandi district, he said.
Twenty-three groups of shepherds have been stuck in Bara Bhangal due to heavy snowfall there between September 21-24.
Shukla told PTI that most of the stranded shepherds have been rescued by three teams comprising of 32 rescuers.
However, Kangra Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kumar claimed that the shepherds were not stranded there as such. He said this was a routine occurrence during bad weather and the rescue teams just "facilitated" the shepherds in reaching their destinations.
Shukla said the rescuers managed to break the snow after working constantly for eight days.
About three groups of 10 shepherds remain stranded in Bara Bhangal and will be rescued soon, he added.
The rescuers have not been able to find the body of shepherd Rakesh Kumar, who died earlier this month, as there was no information about his exact location, the SDM said.
There are about 84 hills near Bara Bhangal. Nomads live in these hills and go to Bara Bhangal from time to time for grazing their sheep, Shukla said.
This time they were stranded there due to untimely snowfall, he said.