Jalpaiguri district police on Friday alerted people living along the banks of Teesta river flowing in the northern districts of West Bengal not to touch any India Army weapons and ammunition flowing in the water body in the wake of flush flood in neighbouring Sikkim that swept some military camps in northern region of the Himalayan state.
As many as 22 army personnel have been missing after cloudburst and flash flood swept away some Army camps in North Sikkim in the early hours on Wednesday.
” In the light of severe flooding in Sikkim, certain military equipment including firearms and explosives were carried away by the Teesta River and we urged the public to be vigilant and report any unfamiliar objects, packages,firearms,or any suspicious items seen floating in the water and report to the nearest police station immediately”.the Jalpaiguri district police said.
The Police also requested the people to refrain from handling these items in any manner, as they pose a potential risk of a dangerous explosion.
A similar notice was also issued by the neighbouring district Cooch Behar where the river Teesta crosses the region.
Meanwhile, the Indian Army said the search for the missing personnel was continuing for the third day Friday.
A communique said the troops were also providing assistance in terms of food, medical aid and extending communication facilities to civilians and the tourists stranded in North Sikkim.
” The search for the missing Indian Army soldiers continues with the search focussing in the downstream in areas of Teesta Barrage. At the site of the incident at Burdang near Singtam, the army vehicles are being dug out and stores are being recovered. Additional resources in terms of teams of TMR (Tiranga Mountain Rescue), tracker dogs, and special radars have been brought in, to assist in the search operations.”.
Troops of TriShakti Corps Indian Army have been able to take into account 1471 tourists present in the areas of Lachen/Chatten, Lachung and Chungthang. With the weather improving on Friday, there may be a window of opportunity for evacuation of stranded tourists by Helicopters. The same is being planned jointly by the Sikkim
Government, Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
” Survey is being carried out by all agencies to assess the damage and plan restoration of road connectivity. The road link between Singtam and Burdang has been restored with the clearing of a single lane for vehicular traffic,” the Indian Army said.