Four missing Bengal trekkers traced

One of the trekkers Anirban Pal Chowdhury (28) told PTI over phone that as the four-member team was heading back to the base after successfully climbing the peak on October 21, their Nepalese porter fell ill on October 22 and died.

Two of the team members, Debashis Saha and Prabhat Ghose, accompanied the body to Kathmandu from Surya Kunda in a helicopter and were taken for questioning to the local police station on October 24 about the death. The other two members, Swarup Saha and Anirban Pal Chowdhury, reached Kathmandu by foot one day later but could not leave without the others.

The two were allowed to leave the Himalayan kingdom without any charges after the preliminary autopsy report confirmed the death was caused by respiratory ailment and all the four then headed towards Siliguri, Anirban said.

"After climbing Gonshai Kunda, we began to return and the porter Yuvaraj fell ill at Surya Kynda. Despite the best possible treatment at the place, with some foreign tourists also trying to revive him, the porter died," Anirban said.

"We feel relieved with the news of their return to Bengal. They will be re-united with the family tomorrow," Anirban's father said at his Ranaghat home.

A district official confirmed having heard that the trekkers had been traced. Earlier, the families moved the local administration for tracing the four, who went incommunicado for a couple of days.

"There was no way to communicate with the family on October 21-22. After reaching Kathmandu we did not want to cause anxiety to our family before sorting out the matter as we had a belief the Nepal Police will let us go finally," a team member explained.
The four had left Ranaghat on October 12 and arrived at Dhunchi in Nepal on October 15. There they hired the porter. They were earlier supposed to return on October 22.

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