With two more workers rescued on Sunday, so far 10 of the 19 Assam workers who had gone missing in the forests near the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh’s Kurung Kumey district 20 days ago have been rescued, officials said.
Kurung Kumey Deputy Commissioner Bengia Nighee said on Sunday night that the two rescued workers — Kholebuddin Shek (27) and Shamidul Shek (19) — have been admitted to the government hospital in Naharlagun near Itanagar as their physical condition is not well.
The rescue operations would resume on Monday to rescue the remaining nine missing workers.
The two rescued workers said that they left four persons behind who were critical and could not walk through the dense forest and mountainous terrain, the Deputy Commissioner said.
He said the Indian Air Force’s chopper operation could not be carried out on Sunday due to bad weather conditions and that it resume on Monday if the weather improves.
After 18 days, eight workers were rescued from the forests on Friday night, who are now undergoing treatment.
Nighee, who is supervising the rescue operation, said that after fleeing from their project site camp at Huri on July 5, the 19 workers had entered a dense forest infested with poisonous snakes and wild animals.
Subsequently, the workers split themselves into two groups of eight and 11, and the other group of 11 moved in a different direction.
He said that a 25-member team of the SDRF accompanied by the police and local volunteers have been conducting search operations for the remaining missing persons in the Damin circle.
The 19 workers, all residents of Assam, had been engaged by a contractor to work for a road construction project undertaken by the Border Road Organisation (BRO).
The villagers reportedly informed the police that the workers left their work site after the contractor refused to grant them leave for Eid al-Adha.
The workers had taken a shortcut jungle route to return to their homes in Kokrajhar and Dhubri in Assam.