PULWAMA — Amidst a picturesque scene of the Kashmir Valley draped in pristine white, a heartwarming moment unfolded as the boundaries between security forces and civilians momentarily dissolved. In the once restive Tral area of southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district, CRPF personnel stepped in to assist a snowbound groom in reaching his in-laws’ home, facilitating the continuation of wedding celebrations.

The unusual display of camaraderie took place in Branpathri, a remote village in Pulwama’s Tral, where CRPF officers clad in khaki transformed into virtual wedding attendees and rescuers. They aided Mukhtar Ahmed, the groom, in navigating the snow-covered path towards his bride’s residence.

Local sources reported to The Kashmir Pulse that Mukhtar Ahmed, son of Ghulam Hasan Poswal, a resident of Branpathri, had his wedding scheduled for Tuesday, February 20. However, heavy snowfall disrupted the plans, blocking roads and stranding the wedding party.

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Responding to distress calls, a team from the CRPF’s 180 Battalion at Mandurah camp swiftly arrived at the scene to assist. Faced with the impracticality of a traditional horse-drawn carriage due to the snow, the CRPF personnel offered an armoured vehicle, typically associated with conflict in Kashmir.

Without hesitation, the groom and his companions boarded the vehicle, accompanied by armed CRPF officers. Before departing for the bride’s home, photographs were taken capturing the unusual but heartening moment.

The local community expressed gratitude towards the CRPF’s 180 Battalion for their timely intervention. Mukhtar Ahmed, speaking to the media, extended his appreciation, stating, “After the heavy snowfall, I was afraid that I would not be able to reach my in-laws, but the CRPF played a key role in fulfilling my lifelong dream.”

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Zakir, one of the wedding attendees, echoed sentiments of gratitude, thanking the CRPF from the depths of his heart for their assistance during a crucial moment. CRPF officer Ram Jath, who led the rescue operation, explained that upon receiving the call for help, he promptly coordinated with senior officers to execute the rescue mission.

The upper reaches of the Kashmir Valley woke up to a fresh blanket of snow on Tuesday, February 20, with even the plains being enveloped by afternoon. The snowfall disrupted normal life, leading to road closures and flight cancellations at Srinagar airport.

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