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Heroes: Shakeel Ahmad - The tourist guide from Kashmir





For 28-year-old tour guide Shakeel Ahmad, life was adventure and adventure was life. An inhabitant of Hariganiwan area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal, Shakeel, who drowned in Tarsar lake in Anantnag district , had quite literally been hand-holding tourists for the last several years to ensure that their Kashmir visit was an enriching one. 

Shakeel, a professional hiking guide, set out for an expedition along with a group of trekkers from various states and three other local guides. They started their journey to high altitude Tarsar Lake in Anantnag district of South Kashmir.

As the heavy rains swept Kashmir Valley from June 19, water level started to rise dangerously in all the water bodies. As the trekking group led by Shakeel descended from the Tarsar area on Wednesday, the team had to pass through a makeshift bridge at Hamvas made of just two logs.

“Shakeel helped the entire team of 13 to cross this bridge one-by-one while Dr Mahesh from Uttarakhand, was the last one to cross with him. “Dr Mahesh while trying to cross the wooden bridge lost his balance and fell into the roaring river while Shakeel in order to save him jumped instantly after him without caring for his life,” an eyewitness said.

The eye witness said Shakeel would have easily swam to shore initially but he kept trying his best to save Dr Mahesh by keeping hold of him for upto 300 meters amid fast current in the river. “However the roaring water separated them both near a waterfall and they disappeared,” he added.

His brother said that he did right by jumping in the river in an attempt to save the life of a tourist, who was part of our group and guest but unfortunately Shakeel lost his life. " It was our right to try and save the life of our guest,” said Shakeel. “ Without thinking twice my brother jumped into the river, " he added.

He said it had to be him only to attempt such a daring act of rescuing his fellow trekker.

“Shakeel was compassionate, loving, friendly and a brave man, be it any situation. He was crazy about river water rafting and trekking and would assist his fellow trekkers every time he would accompany them,” he said.

"In the death of Shakeel, we have lost a friend and a brave heart tour guide but he left an example for all of us that how as a host he gave priority to the safety of his guests over his life,".
Heroes: Shakeel Ahmad - The tourist guide from Kashmir Heroes: Shakeel Ahmad - The tourist guide from Kashmir Reviewed by Shwetabh on 12:10:00 PM Rating: 5

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