The Army airlifted Swami Guru Prasad and Swami Visalananda of the Sivagiri Madhom, Varkala, and 10 other Keralites stranded at Badrinath in Uttarakhand on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media here that the seers and others had been airlifted to Joshimath in that State. Arrangements had been made for their transport from Joshimath to Rishikesh by road.

The Chief Minister said the Resident Commissioner of Kerala in Delhi Gyanesh Kumar was in Dehra Dun to help the stranded Keralites. Ten Malayalis had been missing and 20 were to be evacuated.

The airlifting of the seers had been delayed as the army gave priority to evacuation of persons stranded in more risky areas. The entire operations using helicopters were being done by the army and no State had been allowed to operate own helicopters for rescue, Mr. Chandy said.

Meanwhile, BJP State leaders, who were on a sit-in in front of the Secretariat demanding evacuation of the sanyasis, called off their agitation. The sanyasis of the Madhom too had staged protests before the Secretariat on Tuesday over the delay in evacuating Swami Guru Prasad and others.