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Uttarakhand HC directs to publish findings of committee on 2013 Kedarnath Tragedy

Gautam, in his PIL said that according to state government records, 3322 dead bodies are still ‘buried/ lying/scattered’ in Kedar valley.

Published: 08th August 2020 01:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2020 01:39 AM   |  A+A-

Uttarakhand High Court

Uttarakhand High Court (File Photo| PTI)

By Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand High Court on Friday while disposing off a public interest litigation regarding search of 3322 missing person/bodies in 2013 Kedarnath tragedy directed the state government to publish the findings of the committee constituted to investigate the calamity within two months of time. 

The committee comprising Archeological Survey of India, Sadia Institute of Himalayan Geology and other institutions has been constituted this month, informed the state government in the court. 

The PIL was filed by Ajay Gautam, a resident of Delhi stated that these people are still missing even after 7 years of the tragedy.

"I am thankful to the court for such consideration of the sensitive issue. I hope those who lost their lives will get their last rites," added Gautam.

The court while disposing of the PIL also added that the state government must give undertaking in the court about steps taken in regard with search teams, control mass tourism and cleanliness of Ganga and other rivers.

In the petition, the petitioner requested the court to direct the state government to constitute a committee of experts which may search/suggest appropriate technology for search of persons alleged to be dead by the state government. To constitute search teams en-route Kedarnath temple track (Sonparayag-Gauri kund–Rambara–Kedarnath temple-Chorabari glacier)  and surrounding area to search area assigned to them and submit their status report with regard to the  missing persons /dead bodies, to ensure that no untreated sewage is discharged in the rivers en-route to char dhams. To restriction on the mass movement by keeping biometric records at religious shrines of the hill state and to take proper and expedient steps in accordance with provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005 with regard to search of missing persons /dead bodies. 

Gautam, in his PIL said that according to state government records, 3322 dead bodies are still ‘buried/ lying/scattered’ in Kedar valley and surrounding area of Kedarnath temple since June 2013.

The tragedy often called as ‘Himalyan Tsunami’ caused the death of over 10,000 people and 4021people went missing. 

Afterwards, in the course of expeditions to find missing people, out of total 908 persons who gave DNA samples for matching with missing persons/dead bodies, only 33 sample matched and 875 persons are still in search of their relatives added the petition.

The petition also stated that the time has come to “wake up the governments from their deep slumbers and take appropriate steps with regard to search for 3322 missing persons/ dead bodies (approximately)” and frame the rules to regulate of the Chaar Dhaam Yatra and other religious places of Uttrakhand with regard to safety and security of pilgrims/tourists.

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