August 2000 News

German tourist's body recovered by Kashmir police

4 August 2000
The Asian Age

Srinagar: After conducting extensive searches in mountains in eastern Kashmir for about a week police has found the corpse of German trekker, Herfurth Rollf, waylaid and subsequently killed by a group of heavily-armed militants last month. Before abducting the tourist the militants had also killed three Buddhist monks at Rangdum in Ladakh's Suru valley on July 11. Herfurth Rollf was shot dead by their ringleader very next day, senior police officials here confirmed. The killers abandoned his corpse on the shores of a mountain stream-Kishan nullah-before disappearing in rocky and bleak terrain of neighbouring Doda district further east, investigations into the incident had revealed. After the militants had withdrawn from the scene, a group of herdsmen, also forced to accompany the captors and the captive, were joined by others in lifting the German tourist's body only to toss it down a glacier further up in treacherous mountains. They did it so that the body of a foreign traveller was not found near their shacks as that would have exposed the herdsmen to police 'wrath'. The bullet-riddled body was brought here on Thursday after it was fished out of the river near Zanskar. Kept in a mortuary for the night, two Delhi-based German diplomats who arrived here early Friday morning identified it as that of Herfurth. It will be flown to Delhi on Saturday to be taken back home. A police statement issued here says that the tourist had been killed by a group of three militants assisted by two local guides, one of whom has been arrested. It also says that the body was recovered from Nunkun Ranges near Shapat nullah on August 2 evening. Investigations show that he was done to death by the terrorists on July 12 and body abandoned in Nunkun ranges, it adds. It may be recalled that The Asian Age had in an investigative story that appeared in its issue of July 26 disclosed the killing of the tourist but a senior police officer here sought to deny it. It was the same officer who on Friday confirmed the death of Herfurth as reported by this newspaper.


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