Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy at an Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) event on Tuesday thanked the jawans for rescuing National Security Guard (NSG) Director General Sudhir Pratap Singh’s mother who was stranded at Badrinath after a big landslide, Indian Express reported. However, many at the event had no knowledge that Rudy was actually talking about his own mother, Prabha Singh. The NSG DG is the elder brother of the 55-year-old Skill Development and Entrepreneurship minister. The area concerned is disaster prone. As recently as in May this year, a landslide occurred near Vishnuprayag, 32 km from Badrinath in Chamoli district which left 15,000 tourists stranded in Uttarakhand. The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway was blocked as a consequence. The pilgrims at Joshimath, Karnaprayag, Pipalkoti, Govindghat and Badrinath were marooned. Along with the ITBP, the Border Roads Organisation personnel were also deployed to clear the roads and let traffic pass smoothly. The cause of the landslide was a cloudburst in districts of Uttarakhand which caused heavy rains, according to the Indian Express. The state is notorious for being landslide prone and floods have become a routine element in the last couple of years.
The ITBP had once before made a mark by saving 700 people stranded at Joshimath-Badrinath Highway in 2015, the Times of India reported. An ITBP team comprising of medical representatives and mountaineers with rescue gear had been deployed for a rescue-cum-evacuation process. The rescue operation had lasted for five hours. At the ITBP event, a MoU was signed between the ministry and the force for the development of skills through its centre. Minister of Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju was present at the event.