The Dawar Battalion of Snow Leopard Brigade airlifted more than 160 stranded civilians from Gurez on March 15. The complete Gurez Valley is presently cut off from Kashmir since early November last year. The clearing of snow at Razdan Pass and on the road connecting Bandipora to Kanzalwan has already commenced and is likely to finish by April end.
Earlier on March 14, Dawar Garrison of the Indian Army received a requisition from the civil administration for the evacuation of civilians stranded in winter cut off Gurez and Bandipora. In view of the upcoming semester exams of graduation and higher secondary, the locals were anxious to return back to Gurez at the earliest. A large number of students pursuing higher studies in different parts of the country also wanted to move out to join their colleges. The additional civil medical staff was also inducted in Gurez with the help of the Indian Army to boost the preparations to fight COVID-19.
The helipad controlled by the Dawar Battalion was made operational despite heavy snow cover in record time. Later Indian Army and Air Force in a joint effort evacuated over 160 civilians including four critical patients from Army helipad at Dawar and Sonarwain.
The operation continued for hours till late evening. Army Medical Team carried out the screening of all civilians for the Corona Virus at the helipad itself. An isolation ward was also set up inside the Dawar Garrison to quarantine the suspected cases.
The army also provided necessary succor and administrative support in the cold weather conditions. The critically ill patients were provided medical comfort by the medical team of the Dawar Battalion at the helipad before they could be evacuated by air. The civil administration and local population thanked the Commander, Snow Leopard Brigade for the support extended to the Gurezis time and again.