M A I N   N E W S

Quake-hit reunited with kin

Jammu/Islamabad, October 23
A father-son duo, who were dug out alive from the debris of their house four hours after the killer quake struck Pakistan occupied Kashmir’s Muzaffarabad city, had a tearful reunion with their family here today.

Ninteen days after the temblor struck Hattian Dhupata hamlet in Muzaffarabad, Mr Jagdish Raj Tandon and his son Subash Tandon were reunited with their family here.

“It was our second birth as we escaped from the jaws of death,” Jagdish Tandon said.

Hopes of finding survivors among 43 missing Indian nationals from Jammu and Kashmir are fast receding as none of them have called up Pakistani or Indian officials to return home, so far.

“We are concerned about the people, except the 10, whose fate we know and who have called us up or Pakistani officials. There is faint hope that some of them might have been injured and will call up soon,” an Indian High Commission official here said about the Indians who travelled to POK by the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service before the killer quake struck on October 8.

Officials here believe the Indian and Pakistani plan to reopen some points along the LoC by end of this month is expected to help relatives of the missing to visit PoK to search for their kin.

In all 54 nationals from Jammu and Kashmir, who travelled to PoK by the Kashmir bus on October 6 and the one a fortnight before, were caught up in the quake on this side of the LoC.

Ten of them, including five Sikhs, two Hindus and two Muslims, who called the High Commission, were provided help to return home through the Wagah border, while one was killed in a house collapse.

Reports from Muzaffarabad said teams clearing the debris found the body of Mr Bastiram Tandon, killed in Ghari Dhupatta. As per instructions left by his brother and nephew, the body has been immersed in river Jhelum. — PTI


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