A five-year-old boy who was travelling with his family to the Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand died after falling off his pithoo into a deep gorge, the police said. Pithoo refers to a person who carries a pilgrim on his back during the trek.
An FIR has been registered against an unidentified labourer from Nepal for causing the boy’s death due to negligence, officers said, adding that the man is absconding. The accident took place around 11 km from Gaurikund near Lincholi. The boy’s body was later recovered from the 200-metre-deep gorge, they said.
According to the police, a couple from Agra had arrived with their two children on June 30 and began trekking to the shrine the next day. After reaching Bhimbali from Gaurikund on mules, the couple hired a pithoo for their younger son Shivay Gupta as he was feeling tired. The pithoo went ahead as the rest of the family continued the trek on foot, officers said.
“Soon the boy fell off the pithoo into a deep gorge. The labourer reportedly panicked and fled. The boy could not survive the fall,” said a police officer, adding that they are yet to identify the labourer and are relying on the description provided.
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On being informed, the state disaster response team rushed to the spot and recovered the body with the help of the police and locals. Based on a written complaint filed by the family of the boy, an FIR has been registered under section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code against the labourer.
Police teams have also been deployed to track and arrest the accused. Meanwhile, appeals have been made by the police to all pilgrims to ensure that mule operators or pithoos have proper identification before hiring them.