Six Kashmiri labourers of the Kund area of Kulgam were killed and as many sustained injuries when the vehicle in which they were travelling fell into a gorge near Sunni in Shimla district on Monday morning, police said.
The mishap took place at Kudharghat, about 35 km from Shimla, when the driver of the ill-fated pickup truck lost control of the vehicle, police said.
Of the 12 occupants, nine were from Kulgam in South Kashmir, working as labourers in Himachal Pradesh. They were on their way to Mandi from Sunni, police said.
Three of the labourers died on the spot and as many were declared dead by doctors when they were taken to a hospital, police said.
Those injured are undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital (IGMCH) at Shimla.
The deceased were identified as Farid (24), Gulab (43), Sahbir (19), Talib (23), Gulzar (30), and Mustak (30), Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi said.
The injured included Ranjit, who was driving the vehicle, Aslam, Talib Hussain, Akash Kumar, Ajay Thakur, and Manjoor, police said. A case has been registered and investigations are on, he added.
Meanwhile, J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha has expressed grief on the death of these labourers. He wrote on X; “Directed DC Kulgam to provide all necessary assistance to the next of kin of each deceased”.
Expressing grief over the deaths, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti urged the administration to expeditiously work towards bringing back the mortal remains and provide ex-gratia to the affected families.
CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami urged Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu to ensure best possible treatment to the injured and facilitate early return of bodies of those killed. He also sought adequate financial relief for the affected families.