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Uttarakhand: Human Skeletal Remains Found near Kedarnath Temple

Chief Minister Harish Rawat confirmed that 31 skeletons had been recovered and that 23 had been cremated

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Dehradun, October 17, 2016: The Uttarakhand government on Monday admitted that many skeletons had been recovered from near the Kedarnath temple that was badly hit by flash floods and heavy rains in 2013.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat confirmed that 31 skeletons had been recovered and that 23 had been cremated.

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The shocking discovery was made at Triyuginarayan, a spot on the Kedarnath trek which was hit by flash floods and heavy rains in June 2013.

The DNA of the skeletons has been preserved for forensic tests and identification at a later stage, he added.

The disclosure comes after sketchy and unconfirmed reports of recovery of several human skeletons in the Kedarnath region.

Officials fear the skeletons were possibly of devotees who fled the raging river waters after the cloud burst over Kedarnath and trekked to higher altitudes but died due to lack of food and water.

The cremation of the remaining eight skeletons would be conducted on Tuesday, an official told IANS.

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Chief Minister Rawat has directed officials to do a threadbare combing of the region for the next days to look for more skeletons.

Officials pointed out that the discovery of the 31 skeletons in the Triyuginarayan area indicated that there could be more skeletons buried in the area.

Massive rains struck the Kedarnath-Badrinath and Gangotri routes in 2013, even as the annual ‘Chaar Dhaam’ pilgrimage was underway.

Several thousands had died in the calamity and hundreds had gone missing.

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A brief search operation was conducted then but was aborted. Some families conducted their own search and combing expeditions but with very little success.(IANS)

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  • Antara

    Such a tragic event in the history of the annual “Chaar Dhaam” pilgrimage!

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Modi Lashes out at Congress for Rejecting 2013 Proposal to Redevelop Kedarnath

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Kedarnath
Kedarnath is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Wikimedia

Kedarnath, October 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked the Congress for rejecting his proposal in June 2013 when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat for the redevelopment of the revered Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath that was badly damaged in the catastrophic flash floods.

“The floods of 2013 had made all of us extremely sad. That time I was not the Prime Minister, I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. I came here to do all that I could for the victims,” Modi said while addressing a public meeting here after offering prayers at the Kedarnath temple ahead of its closure for the next six months.

“I had met the then Chief Minister (Vijay Bahuguna) and the state government officials and offered that Gujarat would redevelop Kedarnath. During the meeting, they agreed. And I announced it outside in the media.

“But when the news was flashed on television, and it reached Delhi, the people there (UPA government) panicked and within hours the state government was pressurized to announce that it will redevelop Kedarnath itself,” Modi alleged.

Modi said after the BJP government came to power in Uttarakhand earlier this year “I understood that the work of Kedarnath redevelopment will be done by us”.

In June 2013, then Chief Minister Bahuguna and the Congress party had rebuffed Modi’s offer for the redevelopment of the temple and his Rs 3 crore cheque, which was in addition to a Rs 2 crore his state had donated for rain disaster relief.

The Congress and other parties had criticised Modi for trying to be the “Rambo” of rescue. The Congress had alleged he was trying to communalize a natural calamity.

Modi, in his address to the gathering in Kedarnath on Friday, said: “Through the work we are doing in Kedarnath, we want to show how an ideal ‘Tirth Kshetra’ (pilgrim centre) should be like, how it should be pilgrim friendly and the wellbeing of the priests should be given importance.

“We are building quality infrastructure in Kedarnath. It will be modern but the traditional ethos will be preserved. We will ensure the environment is not damaged,” Modi added.

He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a slew of reconstruction projects in Kedarpuri, including renovation of Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s tomb which was devastated by the flash floods. (IANS)

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