Shimla- Two more trekkers were added in the list of people who lost their lives in scenic but deadly treks of Himachal Pradesh as a rescue team recovered their dead bodies after an eight hour rescue operation. It is the Kully Valley of Himachal is known as the death-valley considering large number of visitors who disappear on its trails, mostly in bad weather conditions. However, this time, it was the trek to the famous Shikari Devi temple in district Mandi that devoured two students of National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur who made the mistake to undertake their trek on January 6, 2017 despite bad weather. The parents of two boys are grieving while awaiting their bodies.

Reportedly, two student, Navneet Rana (23) and Akshay Kumar (25), residents of Bilaspur and Hamirpur respectively, took a leave from the college from 5th to Jan 8th  to go home. However, as per their friends and Facebook posts, they left for the Shikari Devi trek on the afternoon of Jan 6 and went missing thereafter. When they didn’t return to college after expiry of their leave duration, the parents were informed. The parents reported the matter to the administration and lodged an FIR. Rescue teams consisting about 40 policemen and locals were formed and given the task to look for the missing students.

On Friday, the rescue team found body of Navneet buried under about eight feet layer of snow. The team could not identify the body as wild animals had mutilated it. The identification was confirmed through documents found in his bag. Body of Akshay was found at some distance from the first one. The rescue team were on their way to Janjheli with bodies but was stuck in snow on Friday. The bodies are expected to reach parents on Saturday for identification.

The authorities presumed the cause of death to be hypothermia but autopsy of the bodies is still to be conducted whenever the rescue team brings them down to motorable road.

As per reports, the duo also persuaded a few other friends to join them, but no one joined them considering the prediction of heavy snowfall.

The rescue team traced last location of their mobile phones at Janjheli and talked to the locals, who confirmed seeing two people heading toward the Shikari Devi trek on Jan 6.

The incident has again highlighted this critical situation where both foreign and domestic tourists underestimate the dangers of tough Himalayan treks and weather that changes spontaneously.

During past two decades, over 30 trekkers have gone missing and only a few of them could be rescued. In most cases, these trekkers either ignore services of capable guides or defy the warnings of district administration about risky weather conditions. Also, these trekkers are mostly ill equipped on the name of emergency as they fail to establish proper communication to family, friends, or emergency services if anything goes wrong.

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