With bodies of thousands of victims of the Kedarnath deluge lying untraced in the Kedarnath valley, the Uttarakhand High Court has directed the state government to send teams to the areas in and around the valley, trace out the “missing bodies” and cremate them.
According to the state government records, four years after the Kedarnath deluge, only 678 bodies have been recovered while atleast 4,000 persons were reported as missing in the deluge.
While hearing a PIL filed by a Delhi resident Ajay Gautam on the bodies lying untraced in the disaster-hit areas in the vicinity of Kedaranath, the high court had, on November 19, last year, asked the state government to form special investigation teams (SITs) to trace and cremate the bodies of the 2013 disaster victims.
After the order, the state government constituted five SITs that carried out search operations in the Kedarnath valley on May 15 and May 17, this year. During the search operations, remains of six persons who died in the 2013 Kedarnath deluge were traced by one of the teams.
In the order of December 18, the Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Alok Singh further recommended the state government to “provide insurance cover to all the pilgrims visiting the Char Dhams (four shrines of Kedaranath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri at a reasonable premium”.