Over 160 bodies found in four days in Uttarakhand

The death toll in the Uttarkhand tragedy continues to mount with 68 more bodies believed to be of pilgrims who died of cold and starvation while trying to escape the devastating floods.

The 68 bodies, found over the ridges between Garurchatti and Gaurikund, were cremated on Friday just a couple of days after 64 bodies were consigned to flames close to the Himalayan shrine, Inspector General of Police R S Meena said.

“They are being cremated after necessary rituals and other formalities like DNA sampling, Panchnama and preservation of the ornaments worn by them like bangles, and rings for identification,” he said.

Since the start of the third round of search operations in the worst-affected Kedar valley on Tuesday, a total of 166 bodies have been found and cremated, officials said.

Over 200 bodies were extricated in the previous two rounds with sources saying that the official toll has now crossed the 1000-mark.

However, NGOs and others have expressed fears that thousands have perished in the tragedy with many not yet found due to inhospitable hilly terrain.

The operation which is likely to continue till Sunday is being carried out by mountaineers and commandos of Uttarakhand police at a height of 12500-13000 ft.

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