Landslide hits Vaishno Devi Bhawan, one CRPF jawan killed

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One CRPF head constable was killed while several people suffered injuries as a landslide hit Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

The landslide occurred near Gate No. 3 of Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan and the debris fell on a shelter where the pilgrims were sitting.

“Death is likely to go up as many pilgrims are feared buried under the debris,” police said.

A head constable of the CRPF has been confirmed dead due to it. The constable was assisting the pilgrims bound for the shrine when a a huge rock fell on a shelter.

The dead has been identified as head constable Harvinder Singh of 6 Battalion of CRPF, a native of Hoshiarpur in Punjab.

J&K Police, Shrine board team and CRPF have reached the accident site and rescue operation has started as many people are feared trapped under the rubble.

Yatra to the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi has been suspended for now.

“Landslide hits Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan (J&K), one head constable of CRPF dead (confirmed by IG CRPF),” reported news agency ANI.

Earlier this month, four persons including three pilgrims were killed and nine injured in a landslide triggered by heavy rains enroute to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Reasi district.

The incident took place when a portion of the rock formation fell on the track near the Shrine area. The Yatra, which was diverted for some time via the exit route till the debris was cleared, is progressing smoothly via the normal route.

Giving details about the incident, AK Sahu, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, informed that the strata of the rock at this site is sedimentary and one portion of the rock sliced from the main rock strata and fell on the track.

Immediately on hearing about this incident, the CEO along with Additional CEO and Executive Engineer of the Shrine Board rushed to the site of the incident and supervised the rescue operations. The men and machinery as well as the Disaster Management Task Force of the Shrine Board, Police and CRPF immediately cleared the debris and recovered the dead body of Head Constable Harvinder Singh of CRPF 6th Bn. (R/O Dasuya, Punjab). He was deployed on routine duty and died on the spot. All the Yatris are safe and the pilgrimage is progressing smoothly.

Expressing grief over this unfortunate incident Governor N. N. Vohra, Chairman of the Shrine Board, has directed CEO to arrange for an ex-gratia support of Rs. 3 lakh being paid to the family of the deceased.

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