Tour guide Rouf Ahmad Dar, 32, was out on a rafting trip with five tourists from Kolkata on Friday, when their boat capsized in the Lidder river in Pahalgam area of south J&K’s Anantnag district. Dar rushed to their rescue and managed to help all five tourists to safety, but lost his life in the process.
The incident happened at 7 pm. Though white water rafting isn’t allowed after sunset, sources said the tourists had insisted that Dar, who had a diploma in rafting, take them out. Tragedy struck when strong winds upturned the boat and the tourists fell into the raging waters.
The braveheart pulled all the five tourists to safety, and then went missing.
Tour guide Rouf Ahmad Dar’s body washed up near Bhawani Bridge area and was found on Saturday by a rescue team comprising SDRF, J&K Police and local volunteers. It was later handed over to his kin.
Kashmir divisional commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan announced ex gratia of Rs.2 lakh for Dar’s family. Hailing Dar as a real-life hero who “sacrificed his life for saving the lives of others”, J&K governor Satya Pal Malik announced a compensation of Rs.5 lakh for the deceased’s kin.
Dar had completed his BA, B.Ed. and was pursuing a masters degree in political science through Indira Gandhi National Open University. He got married a few years ago and is survived by his wife, parents, and two siblings. Dar’s father works as a receptionist at a hotel in Pahalgam.