Flag-in,prize distribution functions cancelled
An untoward accident in the last leg of the third Mughal Rally killed a motorist and injured his co-driver concluding the rally on a tragic note. Just two kilometers from Sinthan pass the final point for the competitive stage of the car rally the racing car skidded off the road on its ascent to the pass.
Identifying the deceased as Joginder Shukla and the injured as Ashish Mahajan,both hailing from Punjab,sources said that the accident took place around 9 pm on Sunday when the motorists were passing through Sinthan pass,situated at a height of nearly 12,000 ft above sea level,on their way back to Srinagar from Jammu .
It is a sad end to the rally, said Rajini Shaleen Chopra of the Himalayan Motorsport adding,The ceremonial flag-in and the prize distribution have been cancelled on account of the mishap.
The three day mega event involved two separate rallies – the Extreme and Enduro. In the Extreme category,motorists after passing through Pir Ki Gali on Mughal Road reach Buffliaz and from there return to Srinagar . However,in the Enduro category,they proceed to Jammu from Buffliaz and from there,they start their journey towards Valley after passing through Reasi,Ramban and Kishtwar districts.
Shukhla and Mahajan were participating in the Enduro category of the race and were on way to Srinagar from Kishtwar. As they were climbing up to the Sinthan pass the vehicle met with an accident and rolled off the road into a deep gorge.
This has been the first fatal casualty in the Himalayan car rally which had been started by Himalayan Motor Sports Association in collaboration with states Tourism Department three years ago. The rescue teams,comprising of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and that of the Himalayan motorsport were immediately pressed into action. As the two drivers were brought to the ambulance stationed on the road,doctors declared Shukla dead. His rally partner was rushed to Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) where he has been admitted in the intensive care unit.