Unable to trace - 42- year old - Russian paraglider, missing since past three weeks, the police have called off the man hunt launched in the high rugged mountainous terrains.
Police has informed the Russian embassy in Delhi that the operation launched to search the missing Russian, Alexey cannot be continued further due to difficult topography of the region. ‘The embassy has been informed about difficulty being faced by the police in manual search operations in rugged terrains. Off late, weather condition in the area has deteriorated due to fresh snowfall in the high mountain ranges’ Senior Superintendent of Police, Kangra Dr Atul Fulzele told Hindustan Times.
Alexey Ashorov was amongst 142 Para gliders, who had registered themselves to participate in the annual Paragliding Pre World Cup that was cancelled on the last moment due to stand off between the local paragliding association and the government authorities. Paragliding competion was to take place on November 4.
Alexey Ashorov took off from Billing on October 23 but did not return to his base camp in Birh village where he was staying with fellow Russians. The Russian Para gliders with help of few locals set off search to trace 42- year –old Alexey. Finding it difficult to carry the search operations, Alexey’s friend along with local registered a compliant at Police station in Baijnath on October 26. The police on October 29 launched a search to trace missing paraglider Alexey. Messages along with his picture were flashed to the police stations and posts to adjoining Kullu, Mandi, Chamba and Lahual and Spiti district.
Para gliding experts who had gathered at Birh for the flying competition suspected that Alexey could have crash landed in the high hills or could have lost his way. Police reports said that Alexey GPRS system which he was carrying for communication was not functioning. Details at police station said that Alexey was also carrying a camcorder for video recording.
Police had sent teams to different t areas to carry manual search. According to police officials initially intensive search was carried in an around the take off site at Biling and other areas. Apart from this five friends of Alexey Ashorov explored the area within the sixty kilometer radius in and around Birh-Billing. Details of the missing Russian paraglider were conveyed to the Russian embassy and the district administration.
Reliable sources revealed that Police had written to district administration for conducting aerial search and had sought helicopter for the same. However it is learnt, that district administration did not reciprocate to the request since the high ups were busy overseeing arrangements for the by- polls in Jawali constituency.
Suresh Thakur President of Billing Paragliding Association said that Alexeys friends camping a Birh have left for their native places. ‘Missing Para gliders friends have announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for those providing information about Alexey’’ S said Suresh. Russian Para gliders have also pasted posters mention Alexeys details along the roadsides in Birh- Billing. Another Russian paraglider Igor who went missing five days ago was rescued by Russian Para gliders. Igor had sent messages from his communicating device that he was struck up in high mountains. Igors wife had sent funds from Russia for hiring a private helicopter.
Ilia Yudin, a Russian paraglider had died accidentally on October 27, after falling into deep gorge in 16000 feet high mountains while rescuing his friend Denice who had crash landed in high mountains. His body was salvaged by local shepherd Shyam Lal.