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Punjab

Posted at: Jul 16, 2017, 1:33 AM; last updated: Jul 16, 2017, 1:33 AM (IST)

Kin in shock as hope fades for 8 Hemkund Sahib pilgrims

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 15

The families of eight pilgrims, including two NRIs, who went missing in Uttarakhand on their way back from Hemkund Sahib, are in a state of shock after reports claimed that they might be dead.

Among the victims, Kirpal Singh (52), his nephews Kulbir Singh (17) and Jasbir Singh (28) and driver Mehnga Singh alias Mitthu (35), hailed from Mehta village, situated about 40 km from Amritsar.

A veterinarian, Harpal Singh (50) and his nephew Varinder Singh (28) belong to Dalla village in Gurdaspur district. The remaining two are NRIs, Paramjit Singh (60) and his son-in-law Harkewal Singh (32). They are the family friends of Kirpal Singh.

A number of relatives and friends reached the house of Kirpal Singh to console the family.

Jasbir’s father Raj Singh, also Kirpal’s brother, said the news of their family members going missing came as a grave shock to them and they were waiting for the outcome of the search with bated breath. He said it was learnt that the search operation was still on.

He prayed for their survival. Kirpal is a father of three daughters and a son, while Jasbir has a 4-year-old son. Agriculture is the main vocation of the family.

At the house of driver Mehnga Singh, his wife Rupinderjit Kaur was inconsolable, while their children Jasy (11), Jasmeen (8) and Jairup Singh (4) seemed clueless about the whole situation.

Mehnga’s brother Gupreet Singh said they learnt that besides his clothes, his identity proof had been found.

Four persons, who had gone in search of the missing family members, were expected to return late in the evening. Chamoli district’s Govindghat police station had registered a missing report of eight persons on July 11.

A family friend, Harbhej Singh, said the family used to go on a pilgrimage every year. This year too, they went to Hemkund Sahid on an Innova (PB06AB 5472). They were returning from Gobindghat on July 6. The driver had conveyed the same to his family on that day, he said.


Missing since July 6

  • The missing pilgrims have been identified as Kirpal Singh, his nephews Kulbir Singh and Jasbir Singh, Harpal Singh, his nephew Varinder Singh, US-based NRIs Paramjit Singh and his son-in-law Harkewal Singh and driver Mehnga Singh
  • The victims were returning from Hemkund Sahib via Gobindghat 
  • There had been not contact with them since July 6. Reports claim that the victims may be dead

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