32 stranded pilgrims brought to Assam

GUWAHATI: Thirty-two pilgrims from Assam who were stranded in Puri since Cyclone Fani’s landfall in and around the coastal town on May 3, were brought to Assam on Wednesday night, an official statement issued here on Thursday said.

The travellers had stayed at the Assam House in Kolkata, after arriving from Odisha on May 6, and were brought to the state by bus on Wednesday night.

Of them, 25 persons hailing from Tihu were dropped off at their houses by the officer in-charge of Tihu Police Station while the rest from Guwahati were taken to their homes in the wee hours of Thursday.

The travellers could be brought to Assam after the state revenue and disaster management department took action along with Assam House officials in Kolkata following directions of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

“Earlier, 34 pilgrims stranded in a guest house in Puri had contacted us on May 2 and thereafter the state government had contacted the railways and arranged a special train for their safe return. Thereafter, 40 people travelled to Kolkata from Bhubaneswar and while eight had returned to Assam by flight, the rest were put up at Assam House. As of now, we have not received any communication whether any more pilgrims from the state are stranded in Odisha,” Aruna Aruna Rajoria, commissioner and secretary, revenue and disaster management department told The Shillong Times on Thursday.

Though train tickets were booked for bringing the 32 tourists to the state on the evening of May 6, they were brought to Assam by a special bus on their request. A junior liaison assistant of Assam House, Kolkata and a security official accompanied them. Drinking water and medicine were also provided for the convenience and safety of the travellers.

The Assam government has been in touch with their counterparts in Odisha for safe return of the stranded pilgrims and tourists to the state after the cyclone struck the coastal town.

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