Srinagar:A local guide from Pahalgam hill station in Jammu and Kashmir died on Friday evening after rescuing five tourists whose boat had capsized while rafting. Rouf Ahmed Dar’s body was retrieved on Saturday morning from Lidder river near the Bhawani bridge, said Amir Ali, the director of the disaster management cell in Kashmir.
“One raft capsized at the rafting point of Pahalgam’s Mawoora. It was caught in sudden gusty winds,” Ali said. “All the passengers on board fell in the fast flowing water of Lidder. The tourist guide, Rouf Ahmed Dar, without caring for his own safety rescued all the tourists but lost his life.”
Dar’s body was handed over to his relatives after completing the necessary formalities. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, advisor to Governor Satya Pal Malik, said that Dar will be awarded posthumously. His family will receive Rs 5 lakh from the state administration.
Local residents criticized the State Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Management Authority for the absence of rescue teams at the spot. “The rafting at this spot is going on for more than a decade now, but neither the SDRF nor the SDMA have ever bothered to deploy their men and machinery here,” Reyaz Ahmad Lone, a local activist, told here
“The SDRF team is unskilled, they don’t have proper training,” Muhmad Yousuf, a resident, said. “Even today they could not carry the rescue mission properly.”
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Omar Abdullah praised Dar’s bravery. “My salute to this braveheart Rauf Ahmad Dar,” Abdullah tweeted. “He saved the tourists from his capsized raft but lost his own life in the process. May Allah grant him the highest place in Jannat [heaven].”
State Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir called Dar “a real symbol of Kashmiriyat”. “I urged upon the State government to provide full compensation to the bereaved family to ensure their livelihood,” he said.
Governor Satya Pal Malik has saluted the bravery of Tourist Guide Rouf Ahmad Dar, who lost his life while rescuing tourists from the Lidder river in Pahalgam and announced Rs five lac in favour of victim family.
He described Rouf as a real life hero who sacrificed his life for saving lives of others.
Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family in its hour of grief.
Honouring the exemplary display of selfless action, Governor has announced financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakh for the family of Rouf.