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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Uttarakhand flash flood: Cop’s body washed up 110 km away, at ancestors’ ghat

Uttarakhand police chief spokesperson Nilesh Anand Bharney said the families of the deceased policemen will be compensated as per government rules.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Joshimath |
Updated: February 11, 2021 6:59:30 am
Uttarakhand Flash flood, Uttarakhand tragedySite of the Tapovan hydel project as rescue works are underway on Wednesday after a glacier broke off in Joshimath causing massive flooding in Dhauli Ganga River, in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

On Sunday, after the flash flood hit the Rishi Ganga power project site in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, Manoj Chaudhary, 42, a head constable with the Uttarakhand Police, was among those reported missing. A day later, his body was recovered 110 km away, from a ghat near the confluence of the Alaknanda and Pindar rivers in Karnaprayag, where his ancestral village is located.

“This is the very ghat where all our ancestors were cremated. The ghat is very close to our ancestral village Kanaudi. Ittefaq hai. Magar yeh to upar wale ki kripra rahi ki unki body apne purvajon ke ghat par pahunch kar ruk gai (It’s a coincidence, but it’s God’s grace that his body found its way to the ghat of our ancestors),” said Anil Chaudhary, Manoj’s elder brother. On Tuesday, Manoj was cremated at the ghat with state honours.

The Rishi Ganga river meets Dhauli Ganga, which further downstream meets the Alaknanda.

Chaudhary, who joined the Uttar Pradesh Police about 20 years back, opted to stay on in the hills when Uttarakhand became a separate state. Until mid-January, he was at the police lines in Gopeshwar and was deployed at the Rishi Ganga power project site only 15 days before the flash flood.

“I got a call from the police informing me that Manoj and another policeman were missing from the Rishi Ganga site. I reached the spot and his colleagues told me the flood had washed his away. I was returning home, when I got photographs of four bodies recovered at Karnaprayag. Manoj was one them,” said Anil, adding that he hopes his sister-in-law Seema, a graduate, gets a government job on compassionate grounds.

Constable Suresh Bhandari of Dehradun, who was on duty with Manoj and two others, constable Balbir Singh Gariya (58) and constable Deepraj, said, “Deepraj and I were at the main gate and Manoj and Balbir were in the rooms. I heard a whistling sound from Raini village and in a few seconds, a cloud of dust was in front of us. Deepraj and I started running up towards the road. I tried to call out to Balbir and Manoj, but they were probably stuck.”

Constable Deepraj, 41, said, “Balbir’s body was found near the gate, which means that he probably tried to escape but failed to reach a higher place.”

Uttarakhand police chief spokesperson Nilesh Anand Bharney said the families of the deceased policemen will be compensated as per government rules.

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