Kedar Nath Tragedy
From Amongst the Tragedies recorded in the Pages of History during a long period of last 68 Years since Independence. The Tragedy at Kedar Nath is perhaps a tragedy reality of which has not yet come before the people. As you are aware, more than ten thousand people last their valuable life (actual figures not available at all) and our ten thousand people are still missing, and over their dead bodies are not so for Traceable. Perhaps their dead bodies are still waiting under a rock, a building or a hill for their last rites. Thousands of people Hoard away alive in the cloud burst and they laid alive beneath the soil and the rocks. Ram bara and Gauri Kund, the main stay of large number of pilgrims lost their existence on earth. Thousands of people who, in order to escape safe from the Head occurred in the Mandakini Rivers and tailoring burst of chowra bari Glacier, rushed to the near by jungles and hills people population to take a refuge, did not survive become of thirst, hunger, cold and for want of medicines and certain peoples were such in much a situation, looted and killed by as coolies and through away in the deep low region by dacoits in the form of coolies. There happened such a horrible dance of death as not in perhaps described even in the Graced Puraan. Why and low it so happened as the land of Mahadeva? May it perhaps the known to lard Mahadeva. However, the traces of devastation share ever been available throughout the period from 16 – 17 June 2013 to this year of 2018. Even after 4 year of the Tragedy the remains, skeletons of the victims of the Tragedy are found on hills, in jungles, in the buildings ruined.
The real question is whether it was a Tragedy or a state response murder? Since the year 2004 various bodies of the state Government had been wearing that the chowr abari Glacier over the 4 K.M. region of Kedar Nath where thousands Metric Tones of Water had gathered might burst any time to the extent that a week ago National as well as International Agencies had claimed that the glacier was likely to burst. But the Government had been in perpetual ignorance of the reality. During the period between 14th and 16th June 2013 Several Institution had issued an advising to stop the clear Dham Yatra owing to Heavy rains. But the Government crazy for Revenue neither heeded to the warning of burst of the Glacier nor of the Heavy rains. As a consequence, there occurred a heavy toll of human livings which could not the described in words. A number of families had lost their lives. More than 10 thousand people (official figures) died and the remains of over four thousand people are still waiting for their last rites. However the version of the State Government has been that it was an Act of God, and on the other and our case has been and we assure that it was not a godly Tragedy. This State Government has Committed murder of Ten Thousand people. And it is not an Act God. It was the Criminal Homicide Committed by the State Government.
Test after a year, in 2014, which after heavy rains the dead borides under the earth and rocks stated corning up and a large number of human skeletons began to the recovered in the valley we tiled a P.I.L. before the Hon’ble High Court of Uttarakhand bearing No. 85 / 2014 with following prayers
- issue appropriate writ and directions in the nature of mandamus to the respondents to make a rules and regulation on ground of age , health, counting etc
- keep biometric data of all tourist and pilgrims and control mass tourism
- control unplanned urbanizations /traffics/pollutions and free to ganga
- identify the the dead bodies of pilgrims which scattered in Kedar Vally and do last rights accordance with their religion and inform their family persons.
- Pass such other and further order/s as may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case
That following interim order was passed by the Hon’ble High Court on 20.6.2014 –
” We have heard learned counsel for the parties. In another WPPIL No. 75 of 2014, this Court was pleased to call counter affidavit of a responsible officer of the State Government vide order dated 17.06.2014 on the points indicated therein. Mr. Ajay Gautam rightly submits that present petition may also be connected with WPPIL No. 75 of 2014. He, however, submits that since Government has not come forward with proper scheme for disposal of dead bodies and skeletons being recovered, even today, from the adversely affected area, therefore, proper direction be issued for the disposal of dead bodies and skeletons, after preserving their DNA data. We find force in the submission of Mr. Ajay Gautam, petitioner, in person. State Government shall ensure that dead bodies and skeletons, being recovered from the affected area, shall be disposed of as per Hindu Rites with full regard and respect. Photographs of the dead bodies and skeletons, so recovered along with their belongings and DNA data, shall also be preserved by the State Government. Let detail counter affidavit be filed by responsible officer of the Government of Uttarakhand meeting out specifically each and every allegation made in the writ petition. Such affidavit shall be filed on or before 10.07.2014. List along with WPPIL No. 75 of 2014. “
That following interim order was passed by the Hon’ble High Court on 17.07.2014
” Since the rainy season has started, we direct the respondents to ensure that no dead body is left lying under the debris at Kedarnath. In case some dead bodies are found, DNA of such bodies be preserved and last rites of such bodies be performed. “
That after a long judicial battle and untold Judicial harassment of three and half year, The Hon’ble High Court on 19th November 2016 passed the orders for search dead bodies and perform last rite of 3500 missing people in Kedar Nath tragedy , safety and conveniences of the pilgrims coming on Chaar dham yatra and geographical protection of Chaar Dham Yatra (Pilgrimage) involving wide public interest.
It is submitted that the Hon’ble High Court record appreciation for Ajay Gautam by stating that “The Court places on record, its appreciation for the petitioner for highlighting the very important issue “
But for inaction on the Part of the state Govt. none of the Guidelines could be property implemented. After a year we again filed a petition seeking Action Taken Report from the State Government. namely and on the affidavit filed by The State Govt. H.C. of Uttarakhand again issued comprehensive guidelines on 08/12/2017.
Ironically, Thereon the Chief Secretary to the Govt. of Uttrakhand, on the one hand filed an Affidavit to follow the guidelines of the Court further, on the other hand the inefficient BJP Government shameful, incompetent and full of pride did not execute the orders issued keeping in view the security and convenience of Lakhs of pilgrims coming to the State for Chaar Dham Yatra, and instead of searching dead bodies of 4 thousand missing pilgrims and performing their last rites moved the Hon’ble Supreme Court challenging the above orders before the Hon’ble Supreme Court By way of . S.L.P (C) No. 799/2018, wherein the three Judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India who was under the fear of facing of impeachment motion against him set aside the order passed by the High court by stating that “we are of the considered opinion that the directions of the nature issued by the High Court should not have been issued in a Public Interest Litigation” without giving any reason and explanation with liberty to approach High Court for appropriate order as below
“ Permission to appear and argue in person is granted. Heard Mr. Vishwa Pal Singh, learned counsel appearing for the appellants; Mr. Colin Gonsalves, learned senior counsel appearing for respondent nos.1 and 7 in civil appeal arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.801 of 2018; and Mr. Ajay Gautam, respondent no.1-in-person in civil appeal arising out of S.L.P.(C)No.799 of 2018.
We will be failing in our duty if we do not note thesubmission of Mr. Gonsalves that certain directions may withstand scrutiny. Respondent appearing in person submitted that certain directions have been complied with by the State. We are not inclined to get into that. However, if the respondents make out a specific case for interference before the High Court which comes within the domain of judicially manageable and/or permissible standards, it may pass appropriate orders. “
Now I am understand the purpose of the PIL in batter manner, if the PIL is with regard to the promotion, admission, transfer of some big name or political motivated which may defame or praise to the Government and vested interest of someone involved than Court passed details orders. But if the matter pertains to 10,000 people and 4000 missing people who went missing for last your years than the Courts are not interested to pass order in detail on these kind of issues, if above directions could not be pass in the PIL matter than which kind of directions may passed in the matter of PIL ? apex court was silent on this issue in its order dated 16.03.2018, anyway I understand after the retirement The Lordships are also wants portfolio either of the Governor, in enquiries Commissions , or Job in BCCI.
Now I moved fresh application in High Court again on 07.05.2018 but this is very tuff that anyone judge dare to write over the Judgment passed by Apex Court and do write interpretation of the liberty grant by the Apex Court, and matter refer to third Judge due to difference of opinion between the judges on the order of Apex Court, although my health is not good, even do not have much money to follow present case but I tried to alive the present case and my fight is still continue for them which are waiting for their last rites since June 2013.
In last I am little bit optimist by filing present application BECAUSE
Pursuant to order dated 20.06.2014 and other orders after that , 63 bodies were recovered in the year 2014. an application was filed by me with a direction to search dead bodies and perform last rites. Pursuant to which more dead bodies were recovered. The details of The details of missing persons and recovered bodies are given below – Missing Person 4000
Dead bodies recovered in year 2013 545
Dead body recovered after filing of petition by the Answering Respondent –
It is pertinent to state here that more than 3500 persons are still missing after more than 4 years of tragedy in Kedar Valley and their dead bodies are still buried under debris, boulders and crumbled buildings and these dead bodies are awaiting their last rites.
When I am ending to paint this page with color of grief and sorrow and with remark that the State Government has failed to search and perform last rites of 3500 dead bodies and challenged the order for searching of dead bodies and perform their last rites . There could be no more cruel and in human character of the Governmental.