With no trace of missing French trekkers after a massive search operation spanning 14 days, the families of Valentin Marcel Gorges and Francois Xavier Camille have now announced a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh for anyone who will find or gives any information about them.
The Kangra police have received a letter from the French Embassy through the ministry of external affairs regarding the announcement of the cash prize.
The letter received here says, “The French Embassy would like to inform the ministry that the families have decided to offer a reward of Rs 1 lakh for finding either or both of the two French nationals (dead or alive), or for any information directly leading to discovering their whereabouts.”
The Embassy has also requested the ministry to ask the local authorities at Chamba and Kangra districts to spread this information in the media and put posters in public places.
It has also been informed through the letter that families have deposited the reward money with the Embassy. Photos of both the missing trekkers have also been released.
The two backpackers in their early 20s had gone for trekking along with their group members to Tirund area, but took a different route on August 22 and have not been seen since then.
The search teams comprising policemen and local trekkers have till now searched the entire Triund area and the other side of Dhauladhar mountain range, but found no sign of the two.
The helicopter sorties have also been undertaken to find the duo, but the aerial search also ended with no trace of them.
The police officials have now decided to involve the locals, especially people from the Gaddi community, in the search operation as they are more familiar with the hills.
Meanwhile, Kangra additional superintendent of police Mohit Chawla said a search team would again be sent towards the Moon peak - the mountain top towards which the two believed to be had gone before reported missing.
“We also urge the locals to come forward voluntarily to help us find them,” said Chawla.