By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 18 Apr: On-going lockdown in the country has adversely affected not only the poor and rich of the country but also many foreigners on tour of the country when the lockdown was announced. A prime example of this was witnessed today when based on inputs by the locals, five foreigners were found hiding in a cave in Garudchatti on Rishikesh-Neelkanth Road.
They were found by the police and have been sent to quarantine and for medical examinations. As per the information reaching here, these foreigners including 2 women belonged to different countries and had been staying in a hotel in Laxman Jhula (Muni Ki Reti in district Tehri) when the lockdown was declared. They had however exhausted their cash reserve and left with no money to afford hotel accommodation had taken refuge in a cave near Garudchatti, one kilometre ahead of Neelkanth Tiraha ahead of Laxman Jhula. They were buying grocery from local shops near Garudchatti and cooking their own food for all these days. According to the Police, they had taken refuge in a cave on 24 March, the day Lockdown 1.0 was announced.
It may be recalled that a large number of foreign nationals had already been allowed by the Centre and the state administration to go to Delhi and from there to their native countries after the lockdown. However, not all the foreigners had been able to go. Some continued to live in Muni Ki Reti Area but these five foreigners chose to seek refuge in a cave on 24 March.
The possibility of more such foreigners hiding or staying in the forest area nearby can’t be discounted and therefore the Laxman Jhula Police has decided to conduct an intensive search operation in the area.
Besides this, the Police have also appealed to all Ashrams, hotel owners to inform the Police of any foreigners staying with them. All the foreigners found today belonged to different countries. The countries in question are US, France, Turkey, Ukraine and Nepal.