One dead as boulder hits car on Jammu-Srinagar highway in Ramban traffic suspended

(Eds: adding details, inputs on death of BSF jawan)
    Banihal/Jammu, Jan 5 (PTI) A 29-year-old man died and another person was injured on Wednesday when a boulder from a hillock hit their car on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Ramban, prompting the authorities to suspend the traffic on the strategic road, officials said.
    The highway was lashed by intermittent rains since Tuesday, while a weather advisory issued by the meteorological department has predicted wet weather with spells of moderate to heavy snowfall till the weekend.
    Separately, a Border Security Force jawan died and four others, including an assistant sub-inspector, were injured when their bus skidded off the road and turned turtle near Chingus on the Jammu-Poonch highway, the officials said.
    The private car was hit by a boulder from a hillock near Jaiswal bridge close to Ramban town around 12.45 pm, they said.
    The deceased was identified as Adil Bashir (29) of Bemina locality of Srinagar, the officials said, adding the injured was shifted to a hospital.
    The officials said reports of shooting stones and mudslides from the hills overlooking the highway also came in from various places, including Karol, Samroli, Digdole and Ramsu, while there was snowfall in the highway town of Banihal and adjoining areas this afternoon.
    Most parts of Kashmir and high-altitude areas of Jammu region, including the Jawahar Tunnel, recorded moderate snowfall, while the plains including Jammu city were lashed by intermittent rains since early Tuesday, they said.
    According to the meteorological department advisory, moderate to heavy rain or snow is most likely during January 5-8.
    Deputy Inspector General of Police, Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban range, Sunil Gupta requested commuters to avoid unnecessary travel on the highway due to the inclement weather and lurking threat of landslides and shooting stones.
    “One person died in an unfortunate incident of a vehicle being hit by a shooting stone. There is a danger of falling boulders as it has been intermittently raining for the last two days and the weather office has issued more rain/snow for several more days,” he said.
    A traffic department official said the traffic on the highway was suspended as a precautionary measure due to shooting of stones and slippery conditions of the road in Banihal due to snow.
    “The situation will be reviewed later and a decision whether to allow the traffic on the highway will be taken, depending on the condition of the road,” he said.
    The decision to suspend traffic left hundreds of vehicles, both heavy and light ones, stranded at various places on the highway, the officials said.
    They said a BSF jawan lost his life and four others were injured when their bus, which was part of a convoy, skidded off the road and turned turtle at Chowki Narian in Rajouri district.
    The officials said the packed 42-seater bus was on its way to Jammu.
    The rest of the jawans escaped unhurt or with bruises, they said, adding the injured are undergoing treatment at a hospital and their condition was stated to be “stable”. PTI COR/TAS AB IJT

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)