At least 25 Gujjars including women and children have been reported missing following incessant rains and snowfall in the Himalayan region during the past few days.
Reports said that the worst hit was the Wadwan area in the Jammu region, where about 25 people are reportedly missing along with their livestock.
“We have reports about these families and we are trying to establish contact with their relatives in Patnitop,” divisional commissioner of Jammu Pawan Kotwal told TheHindu, adding that they were trapped due to heavy snowfall in Sukhnai village in Jabal Nallah, which is the last area in the north.
While it is still being ascertained how many people are trapped, Mr. Kotwal confirmed that nearly 4,500 sheep, goats and horses have perished.
The Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, however, said thousands of Gujjars and Bakerwals families still require emergency rescues, relief and rehabilitation operations as they are at high risk from being trapped or stranded due to snow avalanches, landslides and thunder storms in places like Pir Panjal, Shivalik, Trikuta and the Zojila hills in the ranges of the northwestern Himalayas.
Foundation Secretary Javaid Rahi said the Gujjars and Bakerwals got trapped since they move to the upper reaches as a part of their seasonal tribal migration in April.