Five youngsters, who went missing from tourist hotspot Kajligarh Fort on Monday evening, were rescued unhurt by a police team around 2.30 am on Tuesday.
They lost their way and were scared when police spotted them near a dry nullah - five kilometres inside a jungle.
Kajligarh fort is around 25 km from Indore. The area around the fort is frequented by wild boars and leopards. There was real concern about their safety for nearly 10 hours.
The five students, including a girl, had entered into a 300-meter deep gorge clicking photographs and selfies. As night descended, they lost their way.
Simrol town inspector Hukum Singh Pawar said Hemant Dahigunde (25), a resident of Bank Colony; Rahul Nawaskar (15), a resident of Vishwakarma Nagar; Laksha Sahu (19), a resident of Bank Colony, Annapurna Road; Dipesh Bundela (18), a resident of Sudama Nagar and Shrishti Chouhan (19), a resident of Dwarkapuri had gone to Kajligarh in the afternoon for picnic.
After staying there for some time, they started going down the gorge into the valley. They went past the Kajligarh temple and a gaushala along the tract and started descending down the hill in a bid to take better pictures.
Apparently, the temple priest saw and warned them not to go down, but they did not listen to him.
Students’ mobiles were not working so they could not call anyone
Hemant said their mobiles were not working so they could not call or inform anyone and were struck in a place where no sound from the top reached them. When they could not find their way out, they decided to wait till dawn and then find their way.
Temple priest informed Simrol police about the students going down the track
It was the temple priest who first informed the Simrol police about the students going down the track and not returning. There is a police chowki near the fort and the police has asked tourists to leave the place before 5 pm, but by that time the group had left the area.
The initial search party started at around 7 pm. They threw light from the police vehicle down the valley, shouted their names and honked the vehicle’s horn, but gave up after some time.
At around 1 am, family members of the students reached the Simrol police station. By this time, DIG Santosh Singh had received information about the incident and asked the Simrol TI Pawar to personally handle the rescue operation.
Armed with torches and a hand-held loudspeaker, a police team led by Pawar along with family members started the search.
The temple priest acted as their guide. At around 2.30 am, they spotted them sitting by the side of a dry nullah, exhausted and scared.